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Beata Ungheria ! so non so lascia 
Piu malmenare. 














The Zriny. The Country below Pest. Waste Lands. 
An Accident. Mohacs. Peterwardein. Karlowitz. The 
Drave. Semlin. The Crusaders. The Save. Belgrade. 
Danube Navigation. The Border Guard: their Laws and Or- 
ganization. The Theiss and Temes. Semendria. George 
Dosa. Danube Scenery. Servia, and Russian Policy. Page 1 



Babakay. The Vultures. Golumbatz. St. George's Cavern^ 
The Rapids. First Roman Inscription. Kazan. New Road. 
Sterbeczu Almare. Trajan's Tablet. Via Trajana. Orsova. 
- New Orsova. The Crusaders. Visit to the Pasha. The 
Quarantine. The Iron Gates. Trajan's Bridge its History and 
Construction. Valley of the Cserna. Turkish Aqueduct. 
Mehadia its Baths and Bathers. . . . . 36 



Szegedin. The Banat its History. Fertility. State of 
Agriculture. Climate. Mines. Population. Prosperous 
Villages. The Peasant and the Bishop of Agram. The New 
Urbarium. The Kammeral Administration. Temesvar. 
Roads. Baron Wenkheim's Reforms. A Wolf Hunt. . 71 
VOL. ii. a 3 




Valley of the Temes. Wallack Beauty. Ovid's Tower. Iron 
Works at Ruskberg. Effects of regular Work and regular Pay. 
Reformers in Hungary. Iron Bridge. Iron-gate Pass, be- 
tween Hungary and Transylvania. Hospitality. Varhely the 
Ulpia Trajana of the Romans. The Dacians under their 
native kings conquered by Trajan. Wallack Language like 
the Italian. Wallacks of Dacian, not Roman, Origin. 
Roman Remains at Varhely. Amphitheatre. Mosaics. Page 94 



Demsus. The Leiter-Wagen. Roman Temple its Form and 
probable History. Paintings in Wallack Churches. Wallack 
Priests and their Wives. Russian Influence over the Mem- 
bers of the Greek Church. Origin of the United Greek Church. 
Religious Oppression. Education of the Greek Priesthood. 
Village of Varhely. The Wallack Women. Wallacks and 
Scotchmen. Wallack Vices and Wallack Virtues. The Devil's 
Dancers. Our Host's Family. Household Arrangements. 
The Buffalo 119 



Valley of Hdtszeg. Wallack Gallantry. Transylvanian Tra- 
velling. Arrival at Vayda Hunyad. The Gipsy Girl. Hun- 
yadi Janos. Castle of Hunyad. The painted Tower A Depu- 
tation. A Rogue found out Deva. Valley of the Maros. 
H taken for a Spy. Visit to the Mines of Nagy Ag. Po- 
liteness from a Stranger. Transylvanian Post-office. Sandstone 
oftheFelek. 153 




Transylvania its population. Settlement of the Szeklers 
of the Magyars of the Saxons under Woiwodes. Zapolya. 
Native Princes. Bethlen Gabor. Aristocratic Democracy. 
Union with Austria. Diploma Leopoldinum. Confirmed by 
Maria Theresa. Actual Form of Government. Constitution in- 
fringed. Opposition. Baron Wesselenyi. County Meetings. 
Grievances. General Vlasits. Diet of 1834. Archduke Fer- 
dinand. History of the Diet. Violent Dissolution. Moral 
Opposition Page 181 



Transylvanian Roads. A Solitary Inn. Drag. Zsibo. 
Horse-breeding. Old Transylvanian Breed. Count Banffy's Stud. 
English Breed. Baron Wesselenyi's Stud. A Cross. Babolna 
Arabs. Interesting Experiment. Rakotzy. Robot. Ride to 
Hadad. The Vintage. Transylvanian Wines. Oak Woods. 

Scotch Farmer. A Reformer's Trials. State of the Pea- 
santry. Urbarium. Stewards. Establishments of the Nobles. 

Social Anomalies. Old Fashions. The Dinner. Drive to 
Nagy Banya. Gipsies. Gold Mines. Private Speculations. 
Return. . . . . . . .211 



Horse Fair at Klausenburg. Moldavian Horses. Cholera in 
Klausenburg. Thorda. Valley of the Aranyos. Miklos and 
his Peccadilloes. A Transylvanian Invitation. The Wallack 


Judge. Thoroczko. The Unitarian Clergyman. St. Gyorgy. 
A Transylvanian Widow. Peasants' Cottages. The Cholera. 
A Lady's Road. Thordai Hasadek. The Salt Mines of Sza- 

mos Ujvar. The Salt Tax Karlsburg. The Cathedral and 

krumme Peter. Wallack Charity. Zalatua. Abrud Banya. 
The Gold Mines of Verb's Patak. Csetatie. Detonata. Return. 
College of Nagy Enyed. English Fund. System of Educa- 
tion. . Page 255 



The Szeklers their ancient Rights and modern Position. 
The Mezoseg. Maros Vasarhely. Chancellor Teleki and his 
Library. A Szekler Inn. The Szekler Character. Salt 
Rocks at Szovata. The Cholera and the spare Bed. Miseria 
cum aceto. Glories of Grock. Salt-Mines of Parayd. Ud- 
varhely. St. Pal. Excursion to Almas. Superstition. The 
Cavern. Sepsi St. Gyorgy. Kesdi Vasarhely. The French 
Brewer. The Szekler Schools. Szekler Hospitality. The 
Biidos. The Harom-Szek. 312 



The Saxon Land. Settlement of the Saxons their Charter. 
Political and Municipal Privileges. Saxon Character. School 
Sickness. Kronstadt. A Hunting Party. Smuggling from 
Wallachia. The Bear and the General. Terzburg and the Ger- 
man Knights. Excursion to Bucses. The Kalibaschen. The 
Convent. The Valleys of Bucses, Virtue in Self-denial The 
Alpine Horn. Fortified Churches and Infidel Invasions. Fa- 
garas. Hermanstadt. Baron Bruchenthal. RothenThurm Pass. 
A Digression on Wallachia and Moldavia. Saxon Language. 
Beauty of Transylvania 349 




Transylvanian Hospitality. Klausenburg. Transylvanian In- 
comes. Money Matters. The Gipsy Band. Our Quarters. 
The Stove. The Great Square. -The Recruiting Party. A Soi- 
ree. The Clergy. The Reformed Church. Religious Opinions. 
The Consistory. Domestic Service. County Meeting. Count 
Bethlen Janos. Progress of Public Opinion. The Arch-Duke. 
The Students and Officers. Climate. Separation of three Coun- 
ties. The Unitarians. Habits of Society. The Ladies. Edu- 
cation. Children and Parents. Divorces. Casino and Smoking. 
Funerals. Schools. The Theatre. . . . Page 396 



Return to Pest. A Poet. Travelling Comforts. The Car- 
riers. Gross Wardein. Prince Hohenlohe. The Italian. 
Paprika Hendel. Great Cumania. The Cumanians and Jazy- 
gers. The worst Road in Hungary. . . . .437 



A Ball. Ladies' Costume. Luxury and Barbarism. Uni- 
versity of Pest. Number of Schools. Austrian System of Edu- 
cation its Effects. Corruption of Justice. Delays of the 
Law. Literature. Mr. Kolcsey. Baron Josika. Arts and 
Artists. The Theatre. Magyar Language. Mr. Korosi and 
his expedition to Thibet. Trade Companies. Popular Jokes. 
Austria, Hungary, and Russia. Blunders of Mr. Quin and other 
English Writers on Hungary. The last Ball of the Carnival. 
The Masquerade. The breaking up of the Ice. . .448 




Departure from Pest. Notary of Teteny. Volcanic District. 
Bakonyer Forest. Subri. Hungarian Robbers. Conscription. 
Wine of Somlyo. Keszthely. Signs of Civilization. Costume 
of Nagy Kanisa. The Drave. Death of Zriny. Croatia and 
Sclavonia. State of the Peasantry. Agram. Croatian Language. 
Public Feeling in Croatia. Smuggling. Karlstadt. Save 
and Kulpa. The Ludovica Road its Importance. Fiume. 
English Paper Mill. Commerce. Productions of Hungary. 
Demand for English Goods in Hungary. Causes which impede 
Commerce, and the Means of their Removal . . Page 492 




BELGRADE . . . . .1 


BABAKAY ...... 36 



TRAJAN'S TABLET . . . . .44 


WALLACES ...... 47 


THE IRON GATES . . . . .55 





VALLEY OF MEHADIA . . . . .70 

OVID'S TOWER . . . . . .94 

TWO WALLACK HEADS . . . . .112 






GIPSY GIRL ...... 159 

CASTLE OF HUNYAD . . . . .165 


SOLITARY INN . . . . . .211 

ZSIBO ....... 222 


BAYLUKA ...... 276 

A SECOND CAVERN . . . . ib. 

THE DETONATA ...... 302 

VALLEY OF ALMAS . . . . .331 

KRONSTADT . . . . . .357 


VALLEY OF BUCSES . . . . .379 








The Zriny. The Country below Pest. Waste Lands. An 
Accident. Mohacs. Peterwardein. Karlowitz. The 
Drave. Semlin. The Crusaders. The Save. Belgrade. 
Danube Navigation. The Border Guard : their Laws and 
Organization. The Theiss and Temes. Semendria. George 
Dosa. Danube Scenery. Servia, and Russian Policy. 

AFTER a few days 7 rest at Pest, we again prepared 
to encounter the fatigues of travel. A remarkably 
fine steam-boat, the Zriny, which had just been 
launched, was about to make her first voyage, and 
we gladly availed ourselves of the opportunity to 
get clown to Moldova. A trial of her powers had 



been made a few days previously, in an excursion 
up the river as far as Waitzen, with not less than 
five hundred persons on board. Count Sze'chenyi, 
by directing this little pleasure-trip, to which every 
one was admitted on paying a zwanziger (ten- 
pence), had managed to interest a great number of 
persons in the success of the new boat; no small 
matter where steam navigation is still a novelty, and 
where it was met with countless prejudices which 
are but yet disappearing. I think I know directors 
of companies, who would have preferred private 
tickets, and a party of their own friends ; by which, 
of course, all the excluded would have been offended. 
Which was the wiser system I leave my readers to 
decide. We joined the party to Waitzen, and had 
an opportunity of seeing the first meeting of two 
steam-boats which ever took place on the waters of 
the Danube. The Pannonia was returning from 
Presburg, and met us near the termination of our 
voyage. Count Szechenyi, who was on board the 
Zriny, was recognised and loudly cheered by both 
crews, on the occasion of this new advance to the 
accomplishment of his favourite scheme. I thought 
the Count's voice faltered, and his eye grew moist, 
as he exclaimed, "Now I am sure w r e shall suc- 
ceed, and Hungary will not be for ever a stranger 
to Europe." 

It was fixed that we should start for Moldova 
at five in the morning ; and so exact were they 
to the time, that the boat was pushed off between 


the striking of the clocks of Pest and Buda. This 
regularity is likely enough to make a change in 
the national character of all the Danubian popula- 
tions, at least in respect to punctuality. A fter one 
of the fairs, when the steam-boats first began to 
ply between Semlin and Pest, a large party of 
Servian and Turkish merchants had taken their 
places on board, in order to return to Belgrade, 
and were duly informed that the vessel would start 
at five. As this did not happen to suit these wor- 
thy people's habits, and as they had no idea that 
the boat would leave without them, they marched 
solemnly down to the quay about eight, and, after 
walking up and down for some time in search of 
the vessel, they were at last made to understand 
that she had gone three hours before. Their as- 
tonishment and consternation are said to have been 
most ludicrous; but it was not without its effect, 
for none of these people have been too late for the 
steam-boat from that day to this. 

Our party in the Zriny was small, but exceed- 
ingly agreeable ; the Baroness W and her ami- 
able and pretty daughter, Count Sz^chenyi on his 
way to superintend the works near Orsova, two 
of our own countrymen bound for Constantinople, 
and ourselves, formed almost the whole of the 
passengers. The morning was cold and misty, but 
it soon cleared up into a fine autumn day. On 
the Pest side, the country is one continued flat, 
and on the other, the low hills, which extend for 



some distance from the Blocksberg, soon disappear 
altogether, and a level plain extended on every side. 
It would be useless to describe the whole of our 
route. The scenery has little variety. The flat 
plain is sometimes raised into small sand-hills 
covered with vines, the thick woods are sometimes 
broken by a little pasture and corn-land surrounding 
a village or small town ; the banks are generally 
low ; the river itself deep, wide, and less rapid 
than above, indeed in every respect much better 
calculated for navigation ; but, for the rest, a mono- 
tonous uniformity pervaded the whole of our first 
day's journey. 

The number of islands in this part of the Danube 
is very great ; some of them of considerable extent, 
others serving only to ornament the river. As they 
are mostly low, they are but of little value; the 
smaller ones are chiefly in wood, the larger are 
partly swamp and partly pasture. Floating water- 
mills mark the approach to almost every village. 
The only craft we met, except the small canoes of 
the peasants, and the flat-bottomed boats which, on 
the firing of a gun, came to take off passengers, were 
the long barge-like vessels from Szegedin. These 
are clean-built boats, covered in with a kind of 
deck, and chiefly employed in bringing up corn 
from the country of the Theiss and Temes to Pest 
and Vienna. They are commonly towed up the 
stream by men or horses. I have seen as many as 
forty-six of the former, and twenty of the latter, 


employed at one boat. Accidents are very com- 
mon among these men ; and it is no rare thing to 
see the body of a man or horse floating down the 
Danube. The body is probably allowed to proceed 
to the Black Sea, without any one thinking it worth 
while to interrupt its course or inquire the cause 
of death. 

None of the towns or villages passed during the 
first day presented anything worthy of remark ; their 
white-washed cottages and steeples had a look of 
cleanliness which the interior would hardly bear 
out, I fear. Among the largest were Foldvar, 
Paks, Tolna, Baja, and Bata. 

We saw a great number of wild-fowl at different 
times. The ducks were in immense flocks; and 
hawks, particularly a white species, very plentiful. 
Of the pelicans, which are so common lower down, 
we saw none ; nor did we observe any of the white 
herons, which yield the beautiful aigrettes, though 
they are said to be pretty frequent. The solitary 
beaver, which is common enough above Vienna, is 
rarely or never found in Hungary. 

We were told that, on the east bank, the immense 
tract of land, extending much further than we 
could see, is almost useless, from the wet and 
boggy state in which it is allowed to lie. It is 
calculated that by embankments and canals it 
might be all reclaimed at the cost of about four 
shillings an acre ; and, at the lowest calculation, 
it would let for as much per annum, Yet it still 


lies waste. The chief proprietors are not above 
six in number. One has got no money to begin 
with ; another has already more corn than he can 
sell ; and a third likes to let things remain as 
they are : and so land, which would maintain a 
million of men, is left to grow leeches and to breed 
fevers. Were it not that one set of bad laws 
renders the title to purchased property so insecure, 
and another set makes the sale of corn often im- 
possible, of course foreign capital would soon 
remedy such evils as these. 

At Baja, to our no small regret, the ladies left 
us. Carriages were in waiting ; a host of depend- 
ants were there to kiss their hands and welcome 
them home ; and, as we passed on, a cloud of 
dust hid them from our sight, though it did not 
drive them from our memories. 

Soon after leaving Baja, we passed through a 
canal, cut a few years since to avoid a long and 
difficult winding of the river. 

As it was getting dusk, I had retired to the 
cabin to write up my journal : when, soon after 
we had quitted the canal, a sudden shock threw 
everything about with great violence, and brought 
us all on deck to know what was the matter. We 
found the boat aground, with her prow high and 
dry on shore. The light of the moon, with a slight 
mist on the water, had deceived the captain, and 
led him to think he was on the edge of a sand- 
bank ; to avoid which he put the boat about, 


and ran her straight ashore. It was altogether a 
sad bungle. In such a light, some one should have 
been a-head to look out. Fortunately no harm was 
done; but it prevented us from going on during 
the night, which had been Count Szechenyi's first 
intention. We accordingly came to anchor at 
Mohacs about eight o'clock, having run one hun- 
dred and eighty miles in fifteen hours. 

This was the first voyage the captain had ever 
made ; and he was dismissed immediately on his 
return. I mention this fact, because it shows with 
what care the interests of the public are watched 
over by this company : indeed, were it otherwise, it 
would be impossible to conceive how they could 
have escaped for so many years under all the 
disadvantages of a new undertaking, without a 
single serious accident. Had any loss of life oc- 
curred during the first year or two, it is very 
possible Government, in its paternal carefulness, 
would at once have stopped the whole affair. To 
avoid such a catastrophe, no engines have been 
employed but those of Bolton and Watt ; nor any 
engineers but those brought up and recommended 
by the same house. They have been treated, too, 
in the most liberal manner. The captains, likewise, 
are generally very superior men ; and it is im- 
possible not to admire the consideration with which 
Count Sz^chenyi behaves towards them. They are 
frequently invited to his table, consulted on every 
point of difficulty, and their opinions listened to 


and followed. It is by such means that steam 
navigation on the Danube has been, at its very 
commencement, brought to a degree of perfection 
which it has required many years' experience to 
effect in other countries. 

Mohacs, otherwise an insignificant town, has 
witnessed two of the most important battles ever 
fought in Europe ; important not only from the 
number of the combatants, but from their political 
results. The first of them, in 1526, which witnessed 
the slaughter of a king, seven bishops, five hun- 
dred nobles, and twenty thousand soldiers, not only 
laid open the whole country to the inroads of the 
Turks, and established them for nearly a century 
and a half in its capital, but changed the reigning 
dynasty of Hungary, and introduced for the first 
time a German sovereign to the Hungarian throne. 
By the same blow too Transylvania was separated 
from Hungary, and remained so for many years. 
The second, in 1687, undid much of what the 
first had done : it concluded the splendid victories 
of the Duke of Lorraine over the Turks ; it opened 
Transylvania to the Hungarian troops ; and prepared 
the way for the expulsion of the Moslem, which a 
few years later was finally effected. 

After taking in a supply of coals, obtained in this 
neighbourhood, and said to be of a pretty good 
quality, we again got our paddles in motion and 
went gaily on our way. One cannot help wonder- 
ing at the hidden resources which any new neces- 


sity discloses. In Hungary, before steam-boats were 
introduced, there was only one coal-mine known 
in the whole country. In the short space of time 
which has elapsed since their first establishment, 
three others and of better quality have been disco- 
vered along the valley of the Danube alone, that 
of Count Sandor between Presburg and Pest, an- 
other in the neighbourhood of Mohacs, and the best 
of all at Orawitza near Moldova. There is a bad 
law in Hungary, which interdicts the cutting down 
of forests on the plea of maintaining a supply of 
fire-wood. Of course it is vain to expect a full 
developement of the mineral riches of the country 
until this law is abolished. 

Our second day's route became rather less mono- 
tonous. About twelve we passed the embouchure 
of the Drave, which has all the appearance of a 
fine navigable river. At present the Drave is little 
used, but it is impossible not to foresee a brilliant 
future for it. Extending from the centre of Hun- 
gary along the north of Sclavonia and Croatia, and 
through the whole of Styria, it brings into connec- 
tion populations so far removed from sea-ports that 
water-carriage cannot fail to offer them advantages 
of which a few years will teach them to avail them- 
selves. The scenery was occasionally varied by a 
ruined castle, or a slight elevation in the surface of 
the plain, of which the peasants eagerly avail them- 
selves and form into vineyards. The castle of Erdod, 
with its massive round towers, is highly picturesque, 


but it is fast crumbling to decay. From the mouth 
of the Drave we have been passing, on the west, the 
banks of Sclavonia, which appears a rich and highly 
cultivated country. The people are, like the Croa- 
tians of a Sclavish race, and belong exclusively to 
the Greek and Catholic Churches. I believe the 
only difference between these provinces and the 
rest of Hungary, at the present time, is their 
power of excluding Protestants from the possession 
of land or the enjoyment of any privileges within 
their boundaries. 

At Vukovar we stopped to land some handsome 
furniture from Vienna. It is said to be astonishing 
how much furniture and how many carriages have 
been sent from Pest and Vienna, not only to the 
southern parts of Hungary, but into Wallachia and 
Turkey, since the steam-boats have been establish- 
ed. The monastery at Vukovar has a pretty ap- 
pearance from the river. The town produces some 

A short turn of the river now brought us in view 
of the ruins of Scherengrad ; and, a little further 
on, we came to the castle of Illok a large building, 
though apparently somewhat neglected. It be- 
longs, as well as immense estates here, to Prince 
Odescalchi. A low range of hills has accompa- 
nied us along the west bank for some distance; 
and the openings which they sometimes present, dis- 
closing their green valleys, and silver streams, and 
whitewashed cottages, and fantastic steeples, are 


most beautiful. It became so dark about seven, 
that, to avoid accidents, we dropped our anchor 
opposite OFutak for the night. 

We were scarcely awake next morning when 
we were roused up to see the fortress of Peter- 
wardein. Directly above our heads, with cur- 
tains, bastions, and towers grinning with artillery 
after the most approved fashion, was the hill of 
Peterwardein, and on the opposite side a tete du 
pont, and other hard-named outworks in great 
abundance. Though modern fortifications have 
very little architectural beauty to boast, the fine 
situation of this gives it a commanding effect. 
Peterwardein is, I believe, considered strong; and 
occupies a position of considerable military im- 
portance. It is adapted to contain ten thousand 

Neusatz, on the opposite side, chiefly inhabited 
by Greeks, is an important commercial town. 

A long bend of the river to the north brought 
us to Karlowitz, a pretty little town situated at the 
foot of a hill covered with vines down to its very 
base. A celebrated wine is made here by a mix- 
ture of red and white grapes, which from its pecu- 
liar colour is called Schiller. 

Karlowitz is the seat of the chief of the non- 
united Greek church in Hungary, and contains a 
lyceum and theological school of that religion. 
I need scarcely add that it is from this place the 
celebrated peace of 1699 takes its name. A few 


miles further brought us to the mouth of the 
Theiss, which has here and Count Szechenyi 
says, throughout its whole course much the same 
width it has at Tokay, a distance of more than 
two hundred miles in a direct line, and probably 
twice that distance by the river. It is navigable 
for steam vessels the whole of that extent. 

We met the Francis the First, the steamer, on 
this station, returning from Moldova heavily laden 
with wool, but carrying few passengers. They say 
the back-freights consist principally of wool, honey, 
iron, tobacco, and wine ; while those down are 
almost entirely composed of manufactured goods. 
They have been offered freights of fat pigs from 
Servia, but have been obliged to decline them till 
they get some tug-boats at work. Pigs form a 
very important article of trade between Servia and 
Vienna ; the immense oak-woods, with which that 
country is covered, being used almost exclusively 
for feeding those animals. The Servian pig is a 
beautiful creature ; and I doubt if Smithfield could 
show better shapes or better feeding in this particu- 
lar than the market of a Servian village. 

As we approached Semlin the banks became 
more flat ; and the river, which had hitherto not 
averaged more than a quarter of a mile in width, 
acquired a more extended bed. 

Semlin is one of those localities which Nature 
herself has marked out for the position of a town. 
Tt occupies the angle formed by the junction of 


two vast rivers, the Danube and the Save ; and 
it becomes necessarily a depot for supplying the 
wants of the people occupying their banks. Count 
Szechenyi tells us that the Save is navigable, and 
he feels sure it will very soon have its steam-boats 
as well as the Danube. From the day of their esta- 
blishment Semlin may date a new birth. It is at 
present chiefly supported by its intercourse with 
Servia, on the opposite bank of the Save ; and 
in consequence, the majority of its ten thousand 
inhabitants belong to that nation. It contains some 
tolerable streets in the interior, but the part near 
the Danube looks as miserable as need be ; indeed, 
the greater portion visible from the steam-boat is 
the gipsy town, a collection of mud huts on the 
side of the hill. Until the establishment of steam- 
boats, Semlin was the usual starting-point for Con- 
stantinople ; and it was here that quarantine was 
performed on returning. It is still used by the 
couriers ; but travellers generally prefer the com- 
fort of a steam-boat to the hardships of a Tatar 
excursion across the Balkan. 

Semlin is historically memorable as the Mala 
Villa of the first crusaders. The three hundred 
thousand of the dregs of Europe, who had terrified 
all Germany with their frightful excesses, at last 
approached the frontiers of Hungary. The avant- 
garde, under Walter Sans-avoir, having demanded 
and obtained permission to pass through the coun- 
try, arrived at Semlin without impediment ; but 


here sixteen of the men fell into the hands of 
the peasants and were robbed. When the larger 
body, under the guidance of Peter the Hermit, 
arrived, and heard of this mishap, they determined 
to revenge it by the destruction of Semlin and its 
garrison of four thousand men. So infamous a 
treachery soon drew on the crusaders the rage of 
a people who, but half converted, had not yet 
learned to hate with due cordiality all who differed 
from them in faith ; and Peter and his followers 
thought themselves fortunate to escape as best they 
could across the Danube. Volkmar, with twelve 
thousand Bohemians, who had advanced no farther 
than Neutra, were cut to pieces. Of the fifteen 
thousand Germans who followed the priest Gott- 
schalk, scarcely three thousand escaped the arrows 
of the Hungarians; while the two hundred thou- 
sand rabble of both sexes and of every age, which 
brought up the rear under Emiko, panic-struck at 
the fate of their companions, broke up their camp 
before the King of Hungary could approach Ung- 
risch Altenburg, which they were besieging, and 
dispersed without having even approached the 
object of their fanatic veneration. It required 
nothing less than the noble courage, the frankness, 
and the piety of Godefroy de Bouillon to re-esta- 
blish a respect for the crusaders or their religion 
in the minds of the half pagan Hungarians. 

We remained but a short time at Semlin, to take 
in coals, and submit our passports to the inspection 


of a police officer. Since steam has brought so 
many strangers down the Danube, Austria has 
begun to establish the system of passports here ; 
and, if the Hungarians do not look to it they 
themselves will soon feel its annoyance as well as 
the foreigners who visit them. 

A few minutes after we quitted Semlin, the guns 
were got ready and we fired a salute to the garrison 
of Belgrade, which was returned in due form. This 
ceremonious politeness to Belgrade seemed rather a 
testimony of respect to what it had been, than to 
what it now is, for its glory is sadly fallen. Its hill 
is still covered with walls, and gates, and towers ; 
but the walls are half down, the gates open, and 
the towers dismantled. A Pasha still sits in its 
fortress, but he could no longer defy the best troops 
of Europe from his stronghold. 

As we passed, a few Turks were seen lying lazily 
along the banks of the river ; others were watering 
their horses ; while, a little further on, a group of 
Servian women were washing, up to their knees in 
the water. The town of Belgrade, which lies beyond 
the fortress, has a very beautiful appearance, from 
the number of minarets and domes peeping from 
out the dark cypresses by which they are sur- 
rounded. This was the first glimpse I had ever 
caught of a minaret, and I can scarcely express 
the pleasure it gave me ; it was something so new, 
and yet so familiar. 

It was near Belgrade, for the first time since 


we had embarked on the Danube, that a sail had 
met our eye. The Hungarian never uses the sail, 
the only means of moving against the stream he is 
acquainted with is towing : and, though he has seen 
the sail employed for so many centuries on the op- 
posite side of the same river, he has never thought 
of applying it himself. It was curious enough to 
see the Hungarian, Turkish, and English systems of 
navigation in use at the same moment : upwards of 
forty men were toiling to drag a huge barge against 
a strong stream on the Hungarian bank ; on the 
Servian, the lattine sail bore the Turkish boat gaily 
before the wind ; while, in the middle, the glorious 
invention of Watt urged on the magnificent Zriny, 
and threatened to swallow up the crazy craft of 
the others in her wake. One might have fancied 
three ages of the world in presence of each other 
at the same moment. 

A new feature in the landscape, and for us a 
new object of wonder and inquiry, soon caught our 
eyes. All along the Hungarian bank, at certain 
distances, perhaps half a mile apart, were small 
buildings, sometimes made of wood, and raised on 
posts, or in other situations, mere mud huts, before 
each of which stood a sentry on duty. They 
were the stations of the Hungarian military fron- 
tier guard. 

An institution of so extraordinary a character as 
that on which we had now fallen, demands a few 
words of explanation. 


From a very early period the banks of the Save 
and Danube, from their frontier position, were in- 
fested by bands of Servians and others, who lived 
in a great measure by war and plunder : many of 
these were fugitives from the neighbouring coun- 
tries, and were received by the Hungarians on 
condition of defending the frontier on which they 
lived from further incursions. 

Before the first battle of Mohacs, we hear of 
some attempts having been made to form these 
borderers into regiments on one or two points ; as 
the Turks retired and left the frontiers more 
free, this organization was extended to the newly 
acquired regions ; and, when at last the whole line 
fell into the hands of Austria, it was rendered com- 
plete, and reduced to a regular system. The last 
part organized was the Transylvanian borders, which 
did not take place till 1766. The system, there- 
fore, is one which has grown out of the wants of the 



times, rather than been created by an inspiration of 
genius ; and the frequent changes which have taken 
place in the laws by which it is regulated show that 
experience only has brought it to its present state 
of efficiency. 

The object has been to maintain at the least pos- 
sible cost a border guard along the whole Turkish 
frontier of Hungary, which in peace might be em- 
ployed for the purposes of quarantine and customs, 
and in war serve as a portion of the standing army. 
This has been effected so perfectly, that in peace 
nearly forty thousand men do duty along an extent 
of eight hundred miles of frontier ; and they not 
only feed and clothe themselves, but pay heavy 
taxes in money besides, and perform also a consi- 
derable quantity of labour without pay. In time of 
war this guard can furnish, on an emergency, two 
hundred thousand men in arms. 

The land acquired by Government, by purchase 
or exchange, along the whole of this district, has 
been divided among the inhabitants, and is held as 
fiefs on the tenure of military and civil service. A 
portion of land comprising from thirty-six to fifty 
acres constitutes an entire fief, the half or quarter 
constituting half and quarter fiefs. Each of these 
is bound to furnish, and to maintain and clothe, 
according to its size, one or more men-at-arms. 
In order to carry out this plan, the fiefs are given to 
families composed of several members, of which the 
eldest is the House-father, and the younger are the 


men-at-arms. The Home-father, and his wife, the 
House-mother, have the direction of the farm, the 
care of the house, the duty of providing for the 
necessities of the whole family, and the right to 
control them and to watch over their industry and 
morals. On the other hand, the rest of the men of 
the family must be consulted on any great changes, 
as purchases and sales ; and at the end of the year 
they may demand an account of the expenditure 
from the House-father. No man who has been pun- 
ished for a crime can be a House-father ; and, if he 
be habitually drunken or immoral, he loses the right 
which age would otherwise have given him. The 
family owe him obedience and respect. The fief 
itself, and the implements and cattle necessary for 
its cultivation, cannot be sold, and every member of 
the family has a right in them. A portion of land, 
called Uberland, land over and above the quan- 
tity required for the fiefs, and any excess of cattle 
or production, may be sold with the consent of a 
superior officer. All the members of the family 
are allowed to marry, and marriage is even held 
out to them as an honourable duty. When a 
family becomes rich or too large, its members are 
allowed to divide, and the party separating re- 
ceives another fief, either by grant or purchase of 
Uberland, within the frontier district, which then 
becomes a feudal fief. Such as leave the fron- 
tier service have no right in the property of the 



The land is cultivated for the common good of 
all the members of a family ; and the profit, if any 
remains after the taxes and other expenses are 
defrayed, is divided among them. No individual is 
allowed to keep cattle, or to work for his own ex- 
clusive profit, at least, without permission of the 
rest. In most cases, a whole family, consisting of 
many married couples, with their children, some- 
times to the number of fifty individuals, live under 
the same roof, cultivate the same land, eat at the 
same table, and obey the same father. 

The military duty in time of peace consists in 
watching the frontiers. For this purpose the man- 
at-arms repairs to the station for seven days at a 
time, where the family provide him with food. Be- 
sides this, he has the duty of transporting letters, 
as well as the money and baggage of the regiment, 
and of performing exercise. For the manual exer- 
cise, four days a month is required, from October to 
March. In spring and autumn the company exer- 
cises together for a week ; and, at longer intervals, 
the whole regiment encamps out, and manoeuvres 

Every family is divided into the invalids, half 
invalids, enrolled, and youths. Every man of full 
age, who has not some bodily failing, is enrolled. 
For the ordinary service the number of men on 
duty amounts to four thousand one hundred and 
seventy-nine. In times of disturbance on the 
Turkish side, or when the plague is drawing near, 


they are increased to six thousand seven hundred 
and ninety-eight, and in times of still greater dan- 
ger to ten thousand and sixteen men. 

In time of war the borderer must form a part of 
the regular army, and march out of the country if 
required. The regular disposable force amounts to 
thirty-four thousand eight hundred and twenty- 
seven ; but, if the reserve and Landwehr are called 
out, to one hundred thousand. If driven to the 
last extremity, they can muster to the amount 
of two hundred thousand men.* By means of 
alarm-fires and bells, this immense force can be 
summoned together through the whole extent of 
the frontier in the space of four hours. 

The borderers are divided into seven regiments 
according to the district they occupy, six infan- 
try, and one hussar. Besides these, there is a divi- 
sion of Tschaikisten, so called from the wooden boxes 
set on piles, and furnished with open galleries round 
them, in which they keep guard along the morasses 
of the Save and Danube, and who do the duty of 
pontonniers. Like the peasant the border family 
has to do civil service one day per annum for 
every English acre for the state ; as in the repair 
of post-roads and bridges, draining of swamps, re- 
gulating rivers, repairing public buildings, &c. : and 
eight days per annum for the village ; as in build- 
ing churches and school-houses, keeping the village 

* These numbers are taken from Csaplovic's Gemalde von 


roads in order, cutting wood for the school, and 
working the farms of widows and orphans. 

The borderer's chief tax, besides the furnishing 
the uniform for a man-at-arms, the shoes, arms, 
and leather- work are given by Government, as well 
as twelve shillings a-year in aid of the rest, is 
the land-tax, amounting, for an entire fief, to from 
fifteen to thirty shillings per annum. Tradesmen, 
artisans, and Jew r s, pay according to their property ; 
from eight shillings to four pounds a-year. 

The border officers have many duties peculiar to 
the position of feudal superiors, which they occupy. 
They give consent to marriages, their permission is 
necessary to the sale and transfer of property, real 
or personal, and, at times, they act as judges and 
ministers of police. From the mixed nature of the 
borderers' duty, different descriptions of officers are 
required, and we accordingly find officers of eco- 
nomy, to direct the farming processes, architects, 
surveyors, &c. for the care of public property, but 
the most extraordinary officers, for a military estab- 
lishment, are the regularly educated regimental 
midwives, and, under them, the company's and 
squadron's midwives ! 

Many laws of the borderers are framed in a spirit 
of paternal kindness ; among others those for the 
encouragement of industry, the inducing to the ac- 
cumulation of wealth, and the preservation of order 
and agreement in families, besides institutions for 
the maintenance of the widows and orphans, and 


for the education and improvement of the people. 
Benigni states, that of the children between seven 
and twelve years old on the Transylvanian fron- 
tiers, seven thousand eight hundred and six out of 
nine thousand and seventy-seven boys, and three 
thousand four hundred and forty-four out of seven 
thousand one hundred and three girls, were pro- 
vided with the elements of education in the border 
schools. In Hungary the proportion is still higher ; 
probably nine-tenths of the whole can read and 
write in one or two languages. 

The administration of justice seems to be yet 
more favourably organized. The first tribunal in 
civil cases is formed by a lieutenant of economy, a 
sergeant-major of economy, two sergeants and two 
corporals of economy, and two house-fathers chosen 
by the colonel. Their judgment must be confirmed 
by the captain. In criminal cases the court martial, 
composed, however, of officers, non-commissioned 
officers, and soldiers, decides. 

It is impossible to study this institution, and not 
be struck with its power and utility, and with the 
wisdom and philanthropy with which many of its 
regulations are conceived ; and to a military man, 
whose idea of the value of a country is in pro- 
portion to the amount of applicable force that can 
be drawn from it and maintained by it, it must 
appear perfect. But it would be unfair did we not 
point out some of the objections which the Hun- 
garians themselves urge against it. 


We have seen that an immense military force 
has been thrown round one-half the circumference 
of Hungary : in what hands does the command 
of this force lie? from what sources does it draw 
its supplies? what sympathies and feelings are 
encouraged in it ? in other words, what is its 
nationality? In a constitutional country these are 
important inquiries. 

Every regiment receives its orders directly through 
its colonel, he again from a general of brigade, and 
he from the commander of the district, who is 
under the Hofkriegsrath (the council of war) in 
Vienna. We have seen that the borderers draw 
their resources entirely from their own labour, for 
the taxes they pay would more than refund the 
cost of their arms; and for their nationality, it is 
enough to say that German is taught exclusively in 
their schools, German used exclusively as the lan- 
guage of the service, that a great number of the 
officers are Germans, and that the laws to be referred 
to, in case the particular laws of the border do not 
provide for any difficulty, are the laws of the 
German provinces, to prove that Austrian, not 
Hungarian, feelings and sympathies are encouraged 
in the borderers of Hungary. The Hungarian Diet 
has the right to vote the levy of troops, and the 
supplies for their support, or to refuse them in case 
of need ; but here is a force, over the levying and 
supply of which they have no control. We cannot 
be astonished that this should form one of the 


gravamina of the Diet, and that it should strongly 
claim a right to the superintendence of the border 

There are some, too, who urge that this border 
wall is more efficacious and better constructed for 
keeping Hungarians within their boundaries, than 
Turks and plague without them, and there are not 
wanting those even who regard the whole quarantine 
system as a great engine of police. In favour of 
this view of the matter they urge that the cordon 
has been more frequently strengthened on the 
appearance of what Government is apt to consider 
most pestilential, a political fever within the 
country, than of a plague invasion from without ; 
that personal intercourse is impeded, that an in- 
quisitorial search is authorised, and that even private 
letters and despatches are opened and examined, 
though it is well known that smugglers pass the 
frontiers at every hour of the day. The best answer 
to these objections, and one very difficult to con- 
trovert, is the simple fact that the plague has never 
entered Hungary since the border organization has 
been completed, where previously, ever since the 
first irruption of the Turks across the Danube, 
scarcely twenty years elapsed without its recurrence, 
although it has been as frequent and violent as ever 
in the neighbouring countries. 

Considerable cruelty has been urged against the 
introducers of the border system in some parts of the 
country, and particularly in Transylvania. It has 


been told me that the Szeklers, who, according to 
their old constitution, were not bound to serve out 
of the country, when ordered to march thought 
themselves justified in refusing, and were only 
compelled to submit after a frightful massacre, in 
which, in many villages, every tenth man, woman, 
and child, indifferently, was shot by the Imperial 
troops. Of the actual state of the borders, material 
or moral, as compared with that of the rest of 
Hungary, I can say but little from personal ob- 
servation ; from what I did see I certainly should 
not have adjudged them a higher material civiliza- 
tion, and I do not believe that military organization 
is adapted to produce great moral advancement. 
From some of those who live in their neighbourhood, 
I have heard the borderers spoken of as poorer and 
more miserable than the common peasants, and in 
the Croatian district one of their own officers de- 
clared them to be most notorious thieves. In 
active service I believe they have proved themselves, 
both for discipline and courage, on an equality with 
the best regular troops. 

A few miles below Belgrade, another fine river, 
the Temes, which, though smaller than those we 
have lately passed, is still navigable, pours its water 
into the Danube. The Temes runs, for the most 
part, through a flat country, and its course is con- 
sequently tortuous and sluggish, but it has been 
improved by the Bega canal, which traverses a con- 
siderable part of the rich Banat, and joins the Temes, 


near Temesvar. This is the fourth navigable river, 
the mouth of which we have passed within a space 
of fifty miles. Surely never was any country so 
blessed by nature with the means of communication 
as Hungary, never have they been more signally 

The hills on the Servian side now became ex- 
ceedingly J3retty. They are not generally high, but 
nothing can be imagined more perfectly wild and 
picturesque. They are covered, down to the very 
water's edge, with a low natural wood. Here and 
there are a few houses, or rather huts, with vine- 
yards, and Indian corn, and occasionally, perhaps, 
something which may be called a village, and has a 
name, but this is rare. All these hills are capable 
of cultivation, but insecurity, want of population, 
and want of capital, keep them wild. The state 
of Servia, at the present moment, is essentially 
one of transition, and that too with all its worst 
features. For many years subject to the Turkish 
yoke, and suffering more than most other parts of 
the empire, because frequently the scene of contests 
the first loss after a defeat, the first prize of a 
victory, its population has become so diminished 
by oppression and emigration, that its whole surface 
is, at the present day, little more than one vast 
forest, and its population a collection of swine- 

The long-conceived designs of Russia against the 
integrity, and ultimate existence of the Turkish 


empire, are now no secret. The successive risings 
in Wallachia, Servia, and Greece, testify how cun- 
ningly and effectually her plans succeeded. Such 
instruments as Cserny (black) George, were not 
difficult to find among a people like the Servians, 
and in a country of woods and mountains, a revo- 
lution was no very difficult matter to maintain, 
especially when excited by a priesthood, whom a 
similarity of language and religion readily disposed 
in favour of Russia. These plans have been car- 
ried out almost without opposition. The sympathy 
of Europe requires only the watch-words of Chris- 
tianity and liberty, which none have used more 
liberally than the crime-stained and tyrannical, to 
become engaged in any cause; domestic troubles 
adroitly taken advantage of, colonial disaffection 
secretly abetted, and an aristocratic diplomacy, which, 
if too proud to be bribed, is too ignorant and too 
indifferent to be efficient, has done the rest. The 
result we have before us in the separation of these 
countries from the Ottoman empire, and their almost 
total dependence on Russia. 

But the calculations of the wisest sometimes 
come to nought. It was easy to excite the hatred 
of the Wallachians against Turkey, but it was not 
so easy to make them love the Russians : it was easy 
to find a native prince of strong natural powers 
capable of leading the Servians, but it was hard to 
make such a prince relish the leading-strings him- 
self. Belgrade has been for some years a great 


centre of Russian intrigue. Sometimes the Servian 
population has been excited against its prince, 
sometimes the prince forced into opposition to the 
Porte. Now an emissary has been despatched 
among the Sclavish populations of Croatia and 
Bosnia, now among the Greek religionists of the 
Banat of Hungary, and for such enterprises Bel- 
grade was the starting point. In the mean time, 
Austria, England, and France have looked on the 
former with fear and trembling the two latter 
with stupid indifference.* If report may be be- 
lieved, however, Prince Milosch, a man of much 
energy and talent, is exerting himself to improve 
and civilize his country ; and though forced in 
appearance to bow to a power he is too weak to 
oppose, he does not find his chain the less galling, 
nor will he be the less anxious to get rid of it on 
the first good occasion.f 

* Since our visit, Austria has sent a very able representative 
to Belgrade, in the person of M. Milanovitch ; and still later, 
England, Colonel Hodges. 

f Since this was written, what is called a constitution has 
been given to Servia, chiefly through the influence of Eussia. in 
whose hands the nomination of the chief members rests. Milosch 
has resisted, been deposed, driven from the country, and his son 
placed in his stead. It is exceedingly difficult to arrive at any- 
thing like the truth on such matters, from the known subser- 
viency of the German papers to Russia ; but it looks very much 
as if Russia was playing her old game of disorganizing and 
ruining, that she herself may in time be called in to settle, and 
reconstitute take possession, if she will in any manner that 
seems to her best. 


Three hours' pleasant sailing along these beau- 
tiful frontiers, brought us opposite the fortress of 
Semendria, another painful monument of Turkey's 
former greatness, and Turkey's present weakness. 
Semendria is singularly built. A perfectly flat 
position has been chosen, watered on one side by 
the Danube, and on another by a small river, the 
Jesoba, and on the neck of land, between these, 
a triangular wall of great height has been erected, 
strengthened at intervals by thirteen towers of 
various forms. Semendria was formerly the seat of 
a Pasha, and it often figures in Hungarian history 
as an important post in the Border wars. Under 
Alibeg Pasha, it became a name of terror to the 
whole country. 

It was at the siege of Semendria, in 1513, that 
George Dosa, a name afterwards so celebrated in 
Hungarian history, first distinguished himself by 
cutting off the hand of a Turkish officer, and 
taking him prisoner. The king presented him 
with a golden chain and silver spurs as guerdon 
for the knightly deed. Poor Dosa's fate was so 
characteristic of the age, and at the same time so 
poetically cruel, that we cannot pass it over. 

It was in the beginning of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, that Archbishop Bakats, like a second Peter 
the hermit, returned from Rome, armed with a 
papal bull, and tried to set all Hungary in a 
blaze with his preachings for a new crusade. 
Constantly as Hungary had been engaged in hos- 


tilities with the Moslems since they had gained 
Constantinople, these never seem to have partaken 
so much of the character of religious wars, as of 
wars of conquest and defence; and, on the present 
occasion, the call of Bakats seems to have been 
almost unheeded by the nobles. Among the igno- 
rant and discontented peasantry, however, to whom 
the desire of escape from servitude, and the anti- 
cipation of plunder may have been as strong in- 
ducements as the hope of salvation, his success was 
greater, and in a short time forty thousand of them 
flocked under his banner to the Rakos plain in the 
neighbourhood of Pest. 

A suspicion has been entertained that the motive 
for Bakats' zeal was not quite so much ecclesias- 
tical, Christian I cannot call it, as personal 
aggrandizement. His excessively ambitious cha- 
racter, the opposition which he had met with from 
some of the higher nobles, the school in which he 
had been brought up he was secretary to Mathias 
Corvinus, the exciting harangues of some of the 
clergy, and above all, the choice of George Dosa, a 
common Szekler soldier, to head this vast multitude, 
gives strong ground for the suspicion. Be that as 
it may, no sooner did Dosa receive orders to march 
his forces against the Turks, than he at once de- 
clared war against the nobles ; and the peasantry, 
predisposed by the oppression they had suffered 
since the death of Mathias, and encouraged by the 
miserable weakness of his successor, having now 


thrown off all restraint, and excited by the pro- 
mises of their leaders, were ready enough to seize 
an opportunity of revenging their wrongs, and 
achieving their liberty. 

Dosa maintained the field against the Hungarian 
nobles for nearly six months, during which four 
hundred of their order fell a sacrifice to popular 
vengeance, till at last Zapolya attacked him whilst 
besieging Temesvar, took him prisoner, and com- 
pletely destroyed his army. 

If the peasants had been guilty of cruel excesses, 
the death of Dosa most amply atoned for them. 
Not content with the slaughter of seventy thousand 
peasants, many of them women and children, it 
was determined to execute their leader in a manner 
which should strike terror into all future genera- 
tions of peasants, and the inventive cruelty of a 
cruel age was taxed for its worst tortures. 

Dosa was seated on a throne of red-hot iron, a 
red-hot crown was placed upon his head, and a 
red-hot sceptre in his hand. Forty of his followers 
had been confined without food for a fortnight ; nine 
of them still survived the starvation, when they 
were brought before their tortured leader and com- 
manded to feed on him yet living. Those who 
hesitated were cut down, while the rest tore the 
flesh from his bones and devoured it greedily. " To 
it, hounds, ye are of my own training!" was the 
only remark which escaped the lips of the suffering 


It was just sunset as we left Semendria, and 
the broad streaks of red light which fell upon 
the water, with the deep shadows thrown by the 
old towers, gave an air of solemn beauty to the 

As we advanced beyond this point, the river grew 
wider and wider, while the banks seemed covered 
with impenetrable forests and morasses. The soli- 
tude and grandeur of this vast wilderness was ex- 
ceedingly imposing. As I stood almost alone upon 
the deck towards evening, I could have fancied my- 
self in a new land, an unexplored region. I have 
never seen the Mississippi, but I do not think that, 
even in the fastnesses of America, the impression of 
a new and untrodden land could be more complete 
than here. On either side of us were thick forests, 
so thick that the eye searched in vain for some 
indication that they had ever been visited. The 
flocks of wild fowl, which covered the water, allowed 
us to pass near them, apparently without suspicion 
of danger ; but no sooner did the eagle appear in 
sight, than they dived away and hid themselves 
from his searching glance. Everything seemed to 
say that man was a stranger there. 

It was just beyond the island of Osztrova, that 
we dropped our anchor in the middle of the stream, 
two miles in width here let off our steam, and 
made up for the night. 

I and Mr. H n walked the deck till deep in 

the night, discussing the various fates which time 



might have in store for the nations of the Danube. 
The ambitious projects of Russia, just then dis- 
f closed by the energy and talent of Mr. Urquhart, 
) had opened to us the danger which Hungary, as well 
^ as Wallachia, Servia, and the whole of Turkey ran, 
i if those projects were not ^peedilychecked. We 
/knew that the cabinet of Austria, at first strongly 
/ inimical to Russia, had been so frightened from her 
propriety by reform in England, and revolution in 
France, a revolution in which she can still see no 
difference from that of eighty-nine, that she had 
thrown herself into the arms of her betrayer with- 
out the decency of reserve, without the prudence of 
a contract. At the same moment we saw this same 
Russia attempting to increase her influence among 
L the Sclavish populations of Hungary by the plea of 
/identity of origin and interest, and to undermine 
the fidelity of the adherence to the Greek church 
by the claim of supremacy, and the corruption of 
an ignorant priesthood. We saw how, step by 
step, Russia had approached the frontier of Hun- 
gary on the north ; how she had then crept round 
the east and^ south ; how, during all this time, she 
had played with the absurd fear of Austria on the 
subject of liberalism, and how in the end, these 
absurd fears had led that power to suffer her am- 
bitious neighbour to bind one by one herjimbsjn 
chains, and finally to threaten her with suffocation 
should she dare to stir, by closing her mouth the 


^- _.__ -^ 

At the same time we saw the frontier fortresses 
of Turkey occupied by Russian troops ; we saw 
Wallachia^ Moldavia, and Seryia, under the name 
of independence, subjected to the most galling 
vassalage, with Russia for a Suzerain ; we saw 
the Turks themselves dispirited and cowed by their 
late defeats, and by the desertion of their former 
friends ; we saw their ministers, the paid hirelings 
of the enemy of their country, obeying only his 
commands ; we saw their Sultan alienating the 
hearts of the most faithful, by well-meant but ill- 
judged reforms ; above all, we saw Europe still 
careless of the fate of one of the greatest empires 
of the world, and we trembled lest she should 
awake but too late to ward off the catastrophe 
which hung over her. One consolation alone re- 
mained ; we knew that if she did awake, the 
progress of Russia was stopped ; we knew that 
her gigantic power would crumble away, and no- 
thing remain, but the hatred of the world for the 
falsehood, injustice, and cruelty, by which it had 
been raised. 



Babakay. The Vultures. Golumbatz. St. George's Cavern. 
The Rapids. First Roman Inscription. Kazan. New Road. 
Sterbeczu Almare. Trajan's Tablet. Via Trajana. Orsova. 
New Orsova. The Crusaders. Visit to the Pasha. The 
Quarantine. The Iron Gates. Trajan's Bridge its History 
and Construction. Valley of the Cserna. Turkish Aqueduct. 
Mehadia its Baths and Bathers. 

IT was about eight in the morning, when the 
good ship Zriny, after bearing us some twenty miles, 
while yet snug in our berths, dropped her anchor 
and finished her voyage opposite the little town of 
Moldova. Preparations were quickly made for our 


re-embarkation, and before the luggage was well 
discharged, the passengers of the quarter-deck were 
comfortably stowed away in a private boat of Count 
Szechenyi's, and in company with several of the 
gentlemen employed on the new works, off we set. 

The boat was rowed by four stout peasants, lately 
broken in to the oar, and steered by George Dewer, 
who has been employed in managing the diving- 
bell here. After passing the island of Moldova, we 
came to an interesting point of the river, marked by 
the Babakay rock, which juts out into the middle 
of the stream. Babakay is said to mean "repent" 
in Turkish, and to have been applied to this spot, 
because a jealous old Turk brought over his young 
bride, w r hom he suspected of deceiving him, and 
placing her on this rock, rowed away, answering 
to her cries only, " Babakay ! Babakay ! " Repent ! 
Repent ! It is at this point that the new road, of 
which we shall speak hereafter, commences. On 
the Hungarian shore the workmen were crowding 
the hill side, blasting the rocks, wheeling soil, ham- 
mering, digging, breaking, in short, busy in all 
the operations incidental to mountain road making. 
On the Babakay itself sat three vultures, solemnly 
looking on at these unaccustomed sights, while on 
the Servian side nothing was to be seen, save the 
picturesque towers of the Golumbatz as they 
crumbled away into the Danube below. 

One of the vultures, as we drew near, raised 
itself from its rocky perch, and sailed into the air 


with great majesty. A shot from one of our party 
brought him down to the water, while another 
secured one of his companions before he had time 
to raise himself and take flight. The larger of 
them measured nine feet across the wings. 

Golumbatz, a corruption of columba, the castle 
of the dove, is said to have been the prison of 
the Greek Empress Helena, and was a point often 
strongly contested in the earlier periods of Hunga- 
rian history. In 1428, it was besieged by King 
Sigismund, who lost the greater part of his army in 
the attempt, and who with difficulty escaped with his 
own life. It was afterwards taken from the Turks 
by Corvinus, and held by the Hungarians, together 
with other fortresses in Servia, for some time. 

The river, which had been hitherto wide and open, 
was now inclosed by high rocks in a narrow bed 
only two hundred and forty yards in width. From 
this point the most beautiful portion of the scenery 
of the Danube commences ; and, however inade- 
quately I may describe it, I can assure the reader 
that I know of no river scenery in Europe to be 
compared with it. The Rhine is pretty and highly 
cultivated ; the Danube is wild and awfully grand. 
It would be little interesting were 1 to repeat the 
exclamations of wonder and admiration which burst 
from us during this journey of about fifty English 
miles : the whole route is one succession of beauties. 
The general character of the scenery is that of rocks 
and woods, sometimes rising precipitously from the 


banks of the river, sometimes sloping gradually 
away; while the mighty mass of water now flows 
calmly on its course, and now rushes in a cataract 
over the rocks it scarcely covers. I must content 
myself with noticing a few of the most interesting 
points. Soon after passing Babakay, the boatman 
pointed out to us a cavern half-way up the moun- 
tain on the Hungarian shore, as the identical cave 
of the Dragon slain by St. George, and where, they 
say, the foul carcass still decays, and, like Virgil's 
ox, gives birth to a host of winged things. What 
is certain is, that from this direction, and it is 
strictly maintained from this very cave, proceeds the 
Golumbatzer Mucken> a peculiar kind of musquito, 
which often invades the Banat in swarms, to the 
great injury of the flocks and herds. They attack 
chiefly the eyes, nose, and ears, and produce such 
pain as to drive the animals nearly mad, and 
death usually follows. 

Stenka was the first of the rapids we passed, and 
though in the then state of the water, it was 
impracticable for our steam-boat, it is not so in 
general, and indeed, while I now write, the place 
of debarkation is changed from Moldova to Dren- 
kova, a small village a little below the fall. At 
Drenkova are some remains of a Roman fort, pro- 
bably one of a series of strong places built by 
Claudius to protect the river boundaries of the 
Roman conquests. The second rapids are those of 
Kozla Mare, situated in the midst of such beautiful 


scenery, that it is probable the traveller has passed 
over them while his attention has been occupied by 
the surrounding objects. Just below this point, on 
the Servian side, may be observed traces of the 
Roman road, of which we shall speak later ; and 
above it, is a plain tablet, bearing this mutilated 
inscription : 





It is near this point that the most considerable 
falls in this part of the Danube begin. They are 
formed by a succession of three rapids, the Izlas, 
the Taktalia, and the Greben ; in the middle of the 
latter, on a projecting rock, a small iron cross 
marks the dangerous pass. The navigation has been 
somewhat facilitated by a canal cut in the rocky 
bed of the stream by means of blasting ; but much 
must yet be done before steam-boats can pass over 
it at all seasons. During high-water, both the 
steam-boats on the Lower Danube have passed these 
rapids. The shallowest part is on the Greben, 
which we passed with seven feet of water, though 
it has been known with only two. Below the 
falls the river becomes suddenly wide, and ex- 
tends itself to sixteen hundred yards. We met 
during this part of our course one or two Turkish 
boats slowly toiling up against the stream. A 
few Servian villages are scattered here and there, 


and give life to the scene. One founded by Prince 
Milosch, and named, after his son, Milanovacz, ap- 
pears to prosper, and shows greater symptoms of 
comfort than anything we have seen on that side. 
At Tricula are the remains of three towers, to 
which tradition assigns a Roman origin. 

A long reach which presents a beautiful lake-like 
view, brought us to Kazan (the Kettle), which, as 
the middle-point between Orsova and Moldova, has 
been made the residence for the engineers employed 
in the construction of the new road. Here we left 
our boat and visited the works then in progress, 
now happily near completion. The object has been 
to form a good carriage-road between Moldova and 
Orsova, in order that vessels may be able to tow up 
against the stream, and that passengers and goods 
may be conveyed by carriages without loss of time 
from one steam-boat to another. In several parts 
of this track the rocks come close down to the 
water's edge, so that it was found necessary to form 
galleries in them, a work of great labour and ex- 
pense. From Babakay to Alibeg there is six thou- 
sand yards of artificial road, and again below 
Kazan it extends twelve thousand yards. When 
I saw it, it had been two years begun, and 20,000/. 
expended. Five hundred men were still employed 
on it. 

A work of this kind would be great in any coun- 
try ; but in Hungary it may be looked upon as 
something wonderful, and the greatest credit is due 


to Count Szechenyi, who has had the entire direc- 
tion of the works, as well as to Mr. Vasarhely the 
engineer, that it has been accomplished so speedily 
and so well. Without it the navigation of the Da- 
nube was closed ; but with it, in addition to the 
works contemplated below, there is no impediment 
of consequence that can oppose an easy and direct 
communication from Ratisbon, in the very heart of 
Europe, to the Black Sea. Nay, the projected rail- 
road between the Danube and the Rhine will accom- 
plish the union of those two rivers, and thus the 
great idea of Charlemagne will be fulfilled after the 
lapse of so many centuries. 

As we walked along the new road, our attention 
was directed to a cave about one hundred yards 
above the Danube, celebrated in the history of the 
Turkish wars. It appears that in 1692, the Aus- 
trian General Veterani sent three hundred men un- 
der the command of Captain D'Arnan to hold this 
cavern against the Turks, whose communications on 
the Danube were in consequence almost cut off, for 
the position of the cave gave its little garrison the 
complete command of the passage of the river, 
which is exceedingly narrow here. The Pasha of 
Belgrade, roused by the injury this handful of men 
inflicted on the Turks, sent an overwhelming force 
against them ; but their position, defended with 
the greatest bravery, was proof against all at- 
tacks, except, alas ! that of hunger, which obliged 
them to capitulate after a siege of forty-five days. 



Again in 1788, was this little fortress employed 
against the Moslems. Major Stein held it for 
twenty-one days, with a still smaller number of 
troops than before. Some remains of slight out- 
works are still left before the entrance of the cave. 
The interior is about one hundred feet long by 
seventy broad, and has some natural divisions, to 
which tradition still attaches names and destina- 
tions ; as the officers 1 quarters, the powder maga- 
zine, and the provision depot. 

On the opposite side, and not far from this 
cavern, rises a majestic cliff two thousand one hun- 
dred and sixty feet in height from the water's edge. 
This is the Sterbeczu Almare, the huge bastion of 



the Danube, a glorious monument of Nature's 
boldest architecture. After passing Rogach, the 
narrowest point of the river, where it is only one 
hundred and sixteen yards wide, but sixty deep, and 
just opposite the little village of Ogradina, we ar- 
rived at the great Tablet of Trajan, the most perfect 
historical monument at present existing on the banks 
of the Danube. We returned next day to examine 
this tablet at our leisure ; but we were still not per- 
mitted to get up to it, as it is on the Servian side, 
and therefore considered in Sporco. It is cut in 
the solid rock, a fine hard mountain limestone, and 
is executed with much elegance. A winged genius 
on each side supports an oblong tablet protected 

by the overhanging rock, which has been carved 
into a rich cornice, surmounted by" a Roman eagle. 
At either end is a dolphin. The inscription, as it 
has been made out by the engineers, runs thus 



I must confess I was not able to decipher all 
these letters ; but, as it is eight yards from the 
water, and obscured by the smoke which the fires 
of the Servian fishermen, who often rest here for 
the night, have covered it with, it is very possible 
that those who could examine it nearer might fol- 
low the traces of letters which have escaped less 
favoured observers.* The work which this tablet 
is intended to immortalize, was no other than the 
Via Trajana, as it is called, on some of the Roman 
coins of that period, and of which the traces are 
frequently visible on different parts of the rocks be- 
tween Golumbatz and Orsova, on the Servian bank. 
For the most part, the traces of the road now 
remaining are reduced to a narrow ledge, varying 
from two to six feet in width, cut in the solid rock, 
at the height of ten feet above the ordinary water- 
mark, and below this ledge, at regular distances, 
and in four distinct elevations, as seen in the ac- 
companying drawings, are holes of about nine inches 
square and eighteen deep. Where the rock hangs 
perpendicularly over the river, the ledge and the 
holes may be traced very distinctly for a consi- 
derable distance without intermission ; at other 
places they are interrupted by a sloping bank, 

* For this, as well as for the plan of the remains of Trajan's 
bridge, I am indebted to a friend in Hungary, who obtained 
for me copies of the drawings and plans prepared with great care 
by engineers employed in the survey of the Danube. This in- 
scription has never, I believe, been so fully made out by any 
other observers. 


where an artificial road was no longer required ; 
and at others, where a slight chasm in the rocks 
made it impossible to continue the ledge, a bridge 
seems to have been thrown across. Every one 
who takes the trouble to examine this subject, 
must conclude that these holes were, beyond quesT 
tion, intended to receive beams constructed so as 
to support a part of the road made of wood, for 
the ledge cut out of the rock was not wide enough, 
in many parts, even to admit persons on root, and 
certainly not horses. Nor can we suppose that 

the ledge in the rock 
was once wider, and 
that it has been worn 
away by time, for the 
tablets remain very 
perfect, and the holes 
below seem as fresh 
as if cut yesterday. It 
is, then, pretty certain that the Via Trajana was 
partly only cut in the rock, and partly supported 
on wooden beams.* It would thus answer for a 
towing path as well as for the passage of troops 
the two great objects for which it was probably 
intended ; and, besides costing much less labour, it 

* This opinion I had formed from an inspection of the place 
itself. Need I say how much it was strengthened by the plans 
subjoined, in which M. Vasdrhely has demonstrated the possibility 
of its existence, and shown the probable manner of its construc- 
tion. The reader will understand that the wood-work is only 



would have possessed, if this supposition is correct, 
the advantage of being easily and effectually inter- 
rupted in case that pursuit by the barbarians ren- 
dered it desirable to cut off the communication. 

As we turned from these remains of Roman 
greatness to the other side of the river, and again 
got on shore, to examine the progress they were 
making with the modern road, it was impossible not 
to be struck with the resemblance of the Wallack 

peasants, who were engaged on it, to the Dacians of 
Trajan's column. The dress, the features, and the 
whole appearance of the Wallacks, were so Dacian, 
that a man fresh from Rome could scarcely fail to 


recognise it. They have the same arched nose, 
deeply sunken eye and long hair, the same sheep- 
skin cap, the same shirt bound round the waist, and 
descending to the knee, and the same long loose 
trowsers which the Roman chain is so often seen 
encircling at the ankles. It was only required to 
change the German or Hungarian overlooker in his 
smart hussar uniform, for the soldier of the Roman 
legion in his brilliant armour, and we might have 
supposed ourselves present at the very scene en- 
acted for a similar purpose on the opposite side 
of this river seventeen hundred years before ! 

Orsova, as we saw it next morning, appeared a 
pretty little village, situated close on the banks 
of the Danube, and fast rising into importance as 
the frontier town of Hungary, towards Servia and 
Wallachia. In addition to the money spent here 
by travellers, the custom-house and quarantine esta- 
blishments necessarily give it greater advantages 
than are possessed by most Hungarian places of its 
size. At a little distance from the town, too, there 
is a small covered market, where the Turks and 
Servians bring their wares for sale ; and though 
divided by rails, and closely guarded by the quaran- 
tine officers in order to prevent contamination, they 
carry on a considerable traffic in pipe-heads, Turkish 
sweetmeats, fruits, ornaments, and other small 
articles. The quarantine establishment was nearly 
empty at the time we visited Orsova, and we were 
shown over the whole of it. It cannot be said to 


be pleasant to pass such a length of time in confine- 
ment anywhere; but I know of few places where 
it would be more tolerable than at Orsova. A 
small court is attached to each set of apartments; 
and, attended by a guard, permission is usually 
granted to walk over the whole place. 

A mile below Orsova, and in the middle of the 
Danube, lies the pretty island of New Orsova, a 
Turkish fortress, now, alas ! somewhat dilapidated, 
like everything else Turkish ; though, scarcely a 
century ago, it was of sufficient strength to have 
occupied the Emperor Joseph II. a considerable 
time to batter it effectually from the opposite 
mountains. It is said to have been at this point 
that the great crusade of 1396, under the Conne'table 
d'Eu and Sigismund of Hungary, after descending 
the Danube from Buda to Orsova, passed over to 
the island, and so across to the Turkish side. One 
hundred thousand horsemen, among whom were the 
flower of the French chivalry, seemed to give an 
assurance of easy victory; and as Sigismund marked 
their close and well-ordered ranks, he insolently 
exclaimed, " With such an army, I can brave the 
world; their spears would uphold the canopy of 
heaven itself, should it threaten to fall upon us ! " 
The impious boast was bitterly atoned for. In a 
very few days the plain of Nicopolis witnessed the 
complete dispersion of this host, and the noblest 
and bravest of them dead, or captives in the hands 
of Bajazeth. 




We were fortunate enough to obtain permission 
from the Herr Cordons Commandant to visit the 
Pasha of Orsova; and, accompanied by a custom- 
house officer, apparently to enable us to smuggle 
with impunity, and another from the quarantine to 
prevent our catching the plague in any but the 
prescribed form, we embarked for the island. About 
half an hour's row down the stream, brought us 
under the low and crumbling walls of the fortress; 
and one of our attendants, acting as interpreter, 
hailed a magnificent looking fellow, who was loung- 
ing about very nonchalantly, but who was neverthe- 
less a Turkish sentinel on duty and desired him to 
inform the Pasha of our request for an audience. 

In the meantime we landed, and pursued our way 
over broken walls and through filled-up ditches to 
the Pasha's house ; and a strange-looking pile we 


found it. The lower part is formed of a solid tower 
of stone, probably the remains of some Gothic 
stronghold, while the upper story is only a wooden 
l)ox, after the common fashion of Turkish houses, 
overhanging its base in every direction, and in its 
turn covered by a vast umbrella-like roof. Our 
request was courteously received, and we were 
ushered up a broad flight of steps outside the build- 
ing, and between long rows of bare-footed servants, 
to the audience chamber. Here we found the Pasha 
ready to receive us, and after sundry bows on our 
parts and pressings of the hand to the heart on his, 
we took our seats opposite each other, on some very 
common, rush-bottomed chairs. These were evi- 
dently used as a compliment to us; for they appeared 
a troublesome luxury to our host, whose legs were 
either dangling awkwardly in mid-air, or perched on 
the highest stave in anything but an elegant position. 
He was a handsome good-tempered looking man, of 
about forty, with a fine red beard curling over his 
breast. He was far enough from the capital in his 
snug little island, to dispense with the caricature 
of a uniform worn in Constantinople, and his 
costume of embroidered cloth lined with fur, was 
simple and handsome. He inquired with much 
anxiety if we had brought our pipes, and seemed 
very much annoyed at our guides for not having 
informed us that a recent firman had forbidden 
any Pasha to offer pipes to strangers. This arrange- 
ment had been adopted to relieve the Pashas from 



the expense of maintaining a great pipe establish- 
ment, the cost of which was sufficient to ruin some 
of the poorer of them. I believe it has been given 
up since. It was in vain we protested that we did 
not smoke in the morning ; when the poor Pasha 
received his splendid chibouque he drew a long 
whiff or two, but it failed to soothe his wounded 
sense of hospitality, and he protested he could 
not smoke unless we did so too. At last, plague 
or no plague, he insisted on each of us smoking 
from his own pipe ; nor was it till the pale lemon- 
coloured amber had been pressed in turn by every 
lip, and the muddy coffee had been duly drunk, 
that he felt sufficiently at ease to begin a con- 

I am not going to give the reader the Pasha's 
sage remarks that is, remarks of my own, which I 
think sufficiently sage to be palmed off as a Pasha's, 
as many writers in these modern times are apt 
to do, often too when they have not understood one 
word of the language spoken ; and it is not worth 
while repeating the commonplaces our interpreter 
passed between us. The Pasha inquired about the 
progress of the works at Kazan, whether the bridge 
was begun at Pest, and how many steam-boats were 
building, occasionally stopping to assure us how 
great was his pleasure at our visit, and occasionally 
bursting into a hearty laugh at the fear our at- 
tendants expressed lest we might touch something 
capable of communicating plague, and that too after 


smoking the pipe he had just used. As in every 
Turk, and almost in every man who is free from 
affectation and servility, his manners were easy 
and dignified ; and as we took leave, much pleased 
with our visit, he invited us to go through the town, 
and gave orders that we should see the mosque and 
anything else we chose. 

The town, which consists of four streets built in 
the form of a cross, is as completely Turkish as 
anything in Constantinople ; it is, in fact, a little 
epitome of the whole empire. The same filthy 
narrow streets, the same coffee-houses with their 
eternal loungers drawing deep draughts of pleasure 
from the bubbling nargile or long chibouque, the 
open shops, the carpeted mosque with its slender 
minaret, and the pretty burial-ground with its tur- 
baned head-stones, as are to be seen in every other 
part of Turkey ; nay, the very dogs are the same 
snarling ill-bred mangy curs which the sons of 
Mahomet use as scavengers wherever their sway is 
felt. It was amusing to see with what officiousness 
our q ua rantine man began to exercise his stick on 
all the poor animals which crossed his path, but an 
obstinate hen very nearly got the master of him not- 
withstanding, and we were obliged to run into 
another street lest a chance feather from her wing 
should condemn us to a fortnight's quarantine. 
Heartily did the good-humoured Turks shake their 
sides to see half a dozen poor Christians in flight 
before a cackling hen ! We were allowed, ho*wever, 


to purchase some pipe-heads from Servia, more 
beautiful than any to be found at Constantinople, 
probably from some little arrangement between the 
Turk and Christian for fleecing the stranger, for as 
we went away, I saw our guide put one into his own 
pocket, for which nothing was paid, save a nod of 
understanding between himself and the merchant. 

The most insensible can hardly fail to admire the 
scenery about Orsova ; the island, the Elizabeth 
Tower on the opposite bank, the Alion with its 
wooded sides, and the expanse of water itself, are 
beauties of no common order. From the passing 
view we had of some Servian peasants, they seemed 
to resemble the Wallacks in their dress. The 
women often cover their heads with strings of gold 
and silver coins till they assume the appearance of 

Another excursion I made from Orsova was to 
visit the Iron Gates of the Danube, and the re- 
mains of Trajan's bridge. As these objects are in 
Wallachia, it was necessary again to obtain permis- 
sion, and to be accompanied by quarantine and 
custom-house officers. Having provided two light 
waggons with four horses in each, we followed the 
banks of the Danube, passed the Island of Orsova, 
crossed the boundary line of Hungary, arid con- 
tinued along a road cut in the side of the mountain, 
amidst the most beautiful scenery, till the roar of 
the waters informed us we were approaching the 
much-dreaded cataracts of the Iron Gates. 



A bad name is a bad thing ; the Black Sea is still 
an object of terror at Lloyd's, though its navigation 
is safer than the generality of European seas, and 
the Iron Gates were long considered an irresistible 
bar to commerce on the Danube, though the peasant 

pilots of Orsova never hesitate, in proper seasons, to 
shoot them with as clumsy ill-constructed vessels as 
can well be made. These rapids, for such is their 
proper designation, continue under different names 
for about a quarter of a mile, and it is the most east- 
ern portion which is properly called the Iron Gates, 
or, by the Turks, Demirkapi. At this point a ledge 
of rocks runs quite across the river, the highest part 


of which, though just covered in the ordinary state 
of the water, is yet sufficiently evident, and pro- 
duces a fall of several feet, which is followed by 
an eddy which might prove dangerous to very small 
craft. The shallowness of the water is, however, 
the most serious obstacle, and at certain seasons 
this is so extreme as to put a stop to navigation 
entirely. Two plans have been conceived for re- 
medying this evil : and it has been proposed either 
to blast the rocks, a difficult and expensive pro- 
cess, or to form a canal along the Servian bank. 
Very fortunately, at this point the rocks, instead 
of coming down close to the edge of the water, 
leave a small surface of flat land, round which it 
is proposed to carry a canal ; and here, it is said, 
remains still exist of a canal made by the Romans 
for the very same purpose. As I was not able to 
verify this report by actual inspection, I cannot 
state it to be positively true ; but as the Via 
Trajana was continued in this direction, and was 
pretty certainly used as a towing path, I think 
there can be little doubt of the fact. What ob- 
stacle impedes the commencement of this canal I 
know not, but fortunately the steam navigation is 
independent of it, for the boats come up to Scala 
Gladova without impediment, and goods and pas- 
sengers are thence conveyed by boat or carriage 
to Orsova, so that, were the road better, the ab- 
sence of the canal would be of little consequence. 
Nor is this interruption of so great importance as 


it would be in any other position, for a delay is 
necessarily caused, in passing from the one country 
to the other, by the quarantine, customs, and police 

As we turned back to take a last view of the 
dreaded pass, a heavy Turkish boat, with its lattine 
sails approached, and we had an opportunity, of 
watching it pass the rapids. The sails were furled 
and a large oar was put out to aid the helm ; the 
only effects we could observe were, a slight trem- 
bling of the mast, a sudden shoot over the rocks, 
a little reeling in the eddy, and she then passed 
on her course as tranquilly as though nothing had 

The banks of the Danube now became flat and 
uninteresting, Scala Gladova, through which our 
route led us, is a very miserable little Wallachian 
town only remarkable because the steam-boats stop 
there, and we were very thankful when our twenty 
miles' drive was over and we found ourselves at the 
remains of Trajan's bridge. All that is now left of 
this structure is a solid shapeless mass of masonry 
on either bank, about twenty feet high, and be- 
tween that and the river there is, on each side, 
a broken wall on a level with the top of the banks, 
apparently forming the piers from which the first 
arches sprang. On both sides, the banks are of a 
considerable height aj)ove the water. In the bed 
of the river, and in a direct line between these 
ruins, the surveyors have traced the remains of 



thirteen pillars. Not far from the middle, as will 
be seen by the plan, a kind of island has been 
formed, which occupies the space of four pillars, 
and on the northern bank there is a second space, 
apparently filled up by deposit, whicli leaves room 
for one other pillar, thus making, in addition to 
those on the bank, twenty. The distance between 
the pillars on either bank is five hundred and sixty- 
two Vienna klafters, or about three thousand nine 


hundred English feet. The pillar on the north 
bank, which I sketched, is not built of hewn stones, 
but of a mass of shapeless materials joined together 
with Roman cement. It may have been encased 
in hewn stone, which has been removed or de- 
stroyed. This is all I could observe or learn of 
the actual state of the remains of Trajan's bridge. 
The water, though not high, was sufficiently so to 
prevent even a ripple appearing on the surface, 
where it flowed over the hidden pillars, but, as 
may be seen by the plan, in which the upper line 
indicates the common height of the water, and the 
lower its state in 1834, the tops of several pillars 
are sometimes visible. On the Wallachian side, a 
little before we reached the ruin, we observed the 
remains of a tower which had been surrounded by 
a deep and wide fosse. Nothing remains of the 
tower to indicate its origin or form ; but the fosse, 
if I remember right, is circular. It was probably 
intended to defend the passage of the bridge. 

Now let us inquire, for a moment, what informa- 
tion ancient authorities afford us concerning this 
great work. Dion Cassius, who was governor of part 
of Pannonia under Hadrian, the successor of Trajan, 
wrote a history of Rome down to his own time. 
A considerable part of this history is lost, and among 
other portions the account of Trajan's bridge ; but 
an epitome of his works by Ziphilini still exists, 
which contains a short description of it. It was 
built by Apollodorus, the architect of the Forum 


Trajanum, and of Trajan's column at Rome, and 
consisted of twenty piers, each pier being one hun- 
dred and fifty Roman feet high, sixty feet thick, 
and they were one hundred and seventy feet dis- 
tant from each other. At either end it was pro- 
tected by towers. The whole work is said to have 
been built of hewn stone, and the real difficulties 
of so vast an undertaking are enhanced by a false 
account of the situation, depth of water, nature 
of the soil, and other particulars.* 

The second authority is the large copper coin of 
Trajan, containing on the reverse a bridge. From 
this coin it would rather ap- 
pear that the towers were at 
the entrances of the bridge, 
and that they had somewhat 
the appearance of triumphal 
arches. The figures of men 
are very discernible on both 
of them. The arch as is 
often the case in coins bear- 
ing figures of buildings, a part being put to re- 
present the whole, appears to me, as well as 
to others who have examined it with me, to be 

* I should remark, that this is one of the widest parts of the 
river, and was, no doubt, on that account, chosen by the architect 
to allow the force of the sudden floods to which the Danube is 
subject, on the breaking up of the ice, to waste itself on an ex- 
tended surface, The bed of the river, instead of answering the 
description of Dion Cassius, is sound, and the depth here less 
than in most other parts. 


composed of wood, though the piers are undoubtedly 
of stone.* 

Besides this, we have a third authority in the 
column of Trajan, where a part of the bridge is 
represented in the back ground, and again the upper 
portion appears, I think, to be decidedly of wood ; 
in fact, the cross bars and rails are exactly like 
those uniting the bridges of boats, by which the 
Roman army is often seen crossing rivers during 
their march to Dacia. I need scarcely say, that the 
idea of the wooden projection of the Via Trajana 
strengthens the supposition of a similar construc- 
tion in the Pons Trajani. The bridge was probably 
begun about 103, A.D. ; it was destroyed about 120. 

Before we quit the subject, one word on the 
destruction of the bridge. Hadrian, it appears, 
anxious to enjoy in peace the conquests of his pre- 
decessor, intended to give up the newly-founded 
province of Dacia ; in consequence, however, of the 
number of Roman colonists already established 
there, he was persuaded to retain it ; but, as it is 
said, to prevent the barbarians crossing over into the 
Thracian provinces, he destroyed the bridge across 
the Danube. I cannot help thinking that personal 
feeling had some connection with this affair; it 
seems at least so impolitic to retain the province, 
and yet cut off the only safe and sure communica- 

* This opinion, I find, is supported by Marsigli, Fabretti, and 
Montfaucon, who make very light of the exaggerations of Dion 


tion with it, that one is naturally led to look for 
other motives than those generally ascribed for the 
destruction of this bridge. Now it appears that 
Apollodorus had given mortal offence to Hadrian 
when a young soldier in the camp of Trajan, by 
desiring him to " paint gourds " (an amusement to 
which he was addicted), " and not to speak of mat- 
ters he did not understand," on occasion of some 
silly remarks offered by the future Emperor con- 
cerning the plans which the architect was displaying 
to his royal master. This insult, sharpened by the 
jealousy which Hadrian felt of the artist's talents, 
was never forgiven, and no sooner did he assume 
the purple than he banished Apollodorus, and finally 
had him put to death on some false pretence. A 
man whose cruel revenge was capable of demanding 
the destruction of a great artist, would scarcely be 
inclined to spare that artist's most esteemed work, 
his surest claim to the gratitude and remem- 
brance of posterity ; and 1 think it highly probable, 
that Trajan's greatest glory fell a sacrifice to Ha- 
drian's meanest passion. 

On our return to Orsova, we found that a fisher- 
man had just captured an enormous sturgeon, so 
large that when placed in one of the small waggons 
of the country, its tail dragged along the ground 
behind. It was taken to the village fountain, washed, 
cut up, and speedily sold to the peasants. The 
sturgeon is said to be abundant in this part of 
the Danube, and to attain a large size, but it is 


not equal in delicacy of flavour to the small stur- 
geon of the Theiss. Fresh caviare gourmands may 
satisfy their longings here as well as in the regions 
of the Wolga or the Don. In Wallachia, the pre- 
paration of the hard caviare is much cared for, and 
most of that met with at Constantinople is obtain- 
ed from thence. Nothing can be ruder than the 
Wallack mode of fishing. A long string of floats 
stoutly fastened together, support a number of huge 
hooks which hang at different depths in the water 
without baits, but so placed as to hook the fish as 
he swims by. Angling as an amusement is rarely 
followed in Hungary, but from the quantity of trout 
met with on the table, I should think it might 
afford good sport. 

It was a fine autumn afternoon when we left 
Orsova, and following the valley of the Cserna, 
closely hemmed in by its wooded hills, pursued our 
way to Mehadia. The groups of Wallack women, as 
we saw them in the evening assembled round their 
cottage doors, or returning home from the labours 
of the field, were too peculiar to escape the ob- 
servation, and sometimes admiration of strangers. 
Their dress, like the men's, rather Dacian, consists 
of the homespun linen shirt, fastened close round 
the neck, and reaching down to the ankles. At the 
sleeves, and round the collar, it is often prettily em- 
broidered in blue and red. Before and behind they 
wear a coarse woollen apron of different colours, 
the lower part of which is commonly a mere fringe 


and such, with a coloured fillet bound round the 
head, is the only summer covering of the Wallack 
women. No dress was ever less adapted to conceal 
the form ; the close-fitting apron seems rather in- 
tended to display to the greatest advantage the 
Venus-like proportions of the figure ; nor are the 
beauties of the youthful bust less delicately out- 
lined by the tight linen shirt. 

We met some twenty or thirty of the Borderers 
on march to relieve the guard on duty at some 
distant post, where they would have to remain for 
a week. They were exceedingly well dressed, and 
had quite the appearance of regular troops. 

In many parts of this valley the road is adorned 
by avenues of the white mulberry. I think it was 
under Maria Theresa that the idea of cultivating 
silk in Hungary was first started, and several at- 
tempts were subsequently made in different parts 
of the country with considerable success. In 1811, 
Government planted the Banat military frontier 
with mulberries, in the hope of being able to feed 
the worm on the tree, but I believe the experiment 
did not succeed, though it is difficult to say from 
what cause. A great number of landowners are 
now planting the mulberry in different parts of 
Hungary, and it is highly probable that silk will, 
ere long, be one of the staple commodities of the 

Near Topletz are the ruins of an aqueduct, which 
formerly extended from the baths of Mehadia to 


Orsova. No one who has seen the Turkish aque- 
ducts near Constantinople, can doubt as to the 
origin of this one; it is clearly of Turkish and 

not Roman workmanship. Its object was probably 
to convey the medicated waters of Mehadia to the 
village of Orsova which was for many years the 
residence of a Pasha, and an important Turkish 

About ten miles from Orsova we quitted the 
main valley, and pursuing the course of the Cser- 
na, entered the valley of Mehadia, in which the 
baths of Mehadia are situated. It was now past 
the bathing season, and we were the only strangers 

VOL. n. F 


there ; but the reader must allow me to transport 
him back to the gaiety of July, in which month I 
visited it on another occasion. 

The baths consist of a number of handsome build- 
ings round an oval place, furnished with seats, and 
commonly enlivened by music and loungers. The 
valley is so exceedingly narrow, that there was but 
just room to build these houses ; nor have they 
been erected without a sacrifice of the romantic 
scenery. The large building to the right was con- 
structed by the Emperor Francis, and it is let out 
at certain fixed and very moderate prices as an 
hotel, while the lower part contains baths. 

The antiquity of the Hercules Baths are beyond 
question. Many votive tablets and statues suffi- 
ciently attest that they were dedicated to Hercules 
and that they were known to the Romans as early 
as the reign of Hadrian, with whom they were in 
high repute for their medicinal virtues. 

From June to September these baths are the 
favourite resort of the Hungarians and Transylva- 
nians, and, besides receiving occasionally members of 
every other part of the Austrian dominions, a rich 
Boyard from Wallachia, an uncouth prince from 
Servia, and a vagabond Englishman, may often be 
seen mingling with the gay groups on the evening 
promenade. An Englishman must almost have 
ceased to be a wonder now, but it is not very long 
since some pretty little Banatians were terribly 
scolded by mamma for running out to get a peep 


at an islander, a sort of thing, as they urged in ex- 
cuse, they had never seen in their lives before, and 
which they were not a little disappointed to find 
so much like other human beings. 

There are few bathing-places can boast so really 
beautiful a neighbourhood as this ; for several miles 
up the valley, where a foot-path has been cut 
through the woods, nothing can be more exqui- 
sitely lovely than the scenery. And then, there 
are mountains to ascend, a real robber's cave to 
explore, a little waterfall to visit, besides excur- 
sions, to I know not how many wonderful places 
in the neighbourhood, to be made. But the white 
precipitous rocks, which make the valley so pic- 
turesque, render it excessively close, and in July 
and August it is scarcely possible to move out in 
the day-time. These same rocks, however, are not 
to be scorned, for they are so high and close as 
to produce an early sunset, and thus leave a long 
cool twilight for the promenade. So much greater 
is the heat in this valley than elsewhere, that the 
tarantula and scorpion, unknown in other parts of 
Hungary, are far from uncommon. 

Beautiful, however, as Mehadia is, its beauty will 
not please for ever ; as is often the case with other 
beauties, its appearance is useful as an attraction, 
but it requires other qualities to keep alive our in- 
terest in them. It maybe an effectual cure,* as the 

* There are nine different springs here in use, each varying con- 
siderably in the proportions of their mineral contents, as given by 

F 2 


doctors vouch, for an infinity of human ills, but to a 
healthy man, a long residence there is apt to induce 
one as bad as any in the list ennui. In the morning 
it is de rigueur to parboil yourself in the fetid waters, 
from which you escape so exhausted, that leaning 
out of the window and watching your neighbour 
enjoying the same recreation, is all you are capable 
of. At one the gentlemen meet at the table d'hote, 
the ladies generally dine in their own rooms, 
and consume a very indifferent dinner, notwith- 
standing the eulogies of some travellers just escaped 
from quarantine diet. Till six the time must still 
be killed. A little quiet gambling is generally 

chemical analysis. They have all, however, more or less, the 
same ingredients, of which the chief are muriates of soda and 
lime, sulphate of lime, sulphuretted hydrogen gas, nitrogen gas, 
and carhonic acid gas, except the Hercules bath, which contains 
no sulphuretted hydrogen. The temperature varies in the dif- 
ferent springs from 32 to 50 of Reaumur, but a cooling appa- 
ratus enables one to regulate the temperature at will. Mehadia 
is considered in Hungary as the very first in the healing powers 
of its waters, It is particularly recommended in indolent skin 
diseases, in cases of gout in all its forms, chronic rheumatism, 
scrofula, chronic diseases of the joints, complicated mercurial 
affections, old liver complaints, in all that prolific class called 
Verstopfungen by the Germans, hysteria, hypochondria, and many 
other of the opprobria medica. An eye-bath is arranged so that 
the eye may be exposed to the hot mineral vapour, and is much 
used in chronic affections of that organ. Nothing but experience 
can decide on the credit due to mineral waters in diseases, but on 
the healthy body I do not think I ever felt any produce a greater 
effect than these : the weakness and profuse perspiration which 
follows the bath is extreme. Vide Die Hercules Bader bei 
Mehadia, von J. G. Schwarzott. 


transacted about this time, by such as have a taste 
for it, and smoking too was a great resource, 
especially after some cosmopolite Turks had phil- 
anthropically established themselves in one corner 
of the place with a large stock of chibouques and 
Latakia, to the great edification of all honest Chris- 
tians who loved good tobacco. At six, the beau 
monde makes its appearance, the gipsy band strikes 
up its joyous notes, and till eight the promenade 
of Mehadia is gay with music and beauty. A bad 
German theatre and an occasional ball add to the 
amusements of those who like them, but there is 
a want of some common place of re-union, which 
prevents the society coming together as much as 
it otherwise would. 

The deficiency of accommodation here is a cry- 
ing evil, and new arrivals are not unfrequently 
obliged to sleep on tables and chairs in the public 
dining-room. On returning to my room one night, 
rather late, I found the whole passage covered with 
mattresses on which were stretched some dozen 
human figures ; many of whom were young and very 
pretty girls of the middle class, some of them un- 
fortunate cripples, and all freshly arrived, and thank- 
ful even for this shelter. In this condition they re- 
mained a week before they could procure rooms. 

The political economist in such a case would 
quietly fold his arms and say the supply will be re- 
gulated by the demand, and so it might elsewhere, 
but Mehadia is on the military frontiers, and conse- 



quently under the administration of the Kammer, 
which, with its usual forethought and good sense 
refuses permission to any private individual to build 
an hotel, except on condition that no one shall 
enter it till all the present accommodations are 
occupied, for fear of injuring the present proprietors. 
This is an instance of the advantages accruing from 
the excessive care of a paternal government : here 
it deprives its poor children of a comfortable lodging 
would to God it never deprived them of still 
more important blessings ! 





Szegedin. The Banat its History. Fertility. State of 
Agriculture. Climate. Mines. Population. Prosperous 
Villages. The Peasant and the Bishop of Agram. The New 
Urbarium. The Kammeral Administration. Temesvar. 
Roads. Baron Wenkheim's Reforms. A Wolf Hunt. 

IT was by Szegedin that we entered this El Do- 
rado this land of promise for Christianized Jews, 
and ennobled Greeks. Szegedin is itself one of the 
most disagreeable towns in Hungary; its streets 
are wide, and traversed by planks, which, however 
useful they may be in keeping people on foot 
out of the muddy abyss on each side, are par- 
ticularly unpleasant to those who are bumped over 
them to the imminent hazard of their carriage- 
springs. The houses look damp and deserted ; and 
the ruins of the old fortress, which once commanded 
the passage of the Theiss, add to the desolation, 
without increasing the beauty of the place. I 
doubt, however, if Szegedin really merits the cha- 

* Though not directly in our present route, I have thought it 
best to take the whole of the Banat together, that I might give a 
more complete idea of its position and extent. 


racter which, perhaps, my feelings have associated 
with it: a dull day, or his own ill-humour, often 
give a most incorrect colouring to the passing 
traveller's observations. It is, in fact, a town of 
considerable traffic, with which its situation, at 
the confluence of two such rivers as the Theiss 
and Maros, has naturally endowed it. 

It was Sunday when we passed ; and, among the 
holiday-makers, I remarked what I suspect to be 
a remnant of Turkish habits. The women of the 
lower classes wore slippers without heels, fancifully 
worked on the front in silk or worsted ; just, in 
fact, the in-door chaussure of the ladies of Con- 
stantinople. Beyond the town, the Maros had 
overflowed its banks, and formed an immense lake, 
extending for several miles to the south. This 
appeared, however, so frequent an occurrence, as 
to have induced the people to provide against it, 
for we passed through the waters on a good raised 
road to Szb'reg. 

Our route from thence to Temesvar, lay through 
a flat, and often swampy country ; but at the same 
time so overladen with the riches of production 
that I do not recollect ever to have seen so luxu- 
riant a prospect in any other part of the world. It 
was the month of July, and the harvest was already 
begun. Every field was waving with the bright yel- 
low corn, often so full in the head as to have sunk 
under its own weight, and the whole plain seemed 
alive with labourers, though apparently there were 


not half the number required for the work before 

The Banat is a district in the south-east corner 
of Hungary, lying between the Theiss, Maros, and 
Danube, and containing the three counties of Tho- 
rontal, Temesvar, and Krasso. It is not one hun- 
dred years since the Turks were in possession of 
this province ; and it was not till the close of the 
last century, that it was entirely free from Mos- 
lem incursion. Those who have visited any of the 
countries under the Ottoman rule, will easily un- 
derstand the wild and savage state in which this 
beautiful land then was. The philanthropic Joseph 
II. determined to render it equally populous and 
civilized with the rest of Hungary. From the 
flatness of a large portion of the surface, and from 
the quantity of rivers by which it is watered, im- 
mense morasses were formed, which tainted the 
air, and made it really then what some French 
writer now undeservedly calls it "le tombeau des 
etrangers" To tempt settlers, the land was sold at 
exceedingly moderate prices ; and Germans, Greeks, 
Turks, Servians, Wallacks, nay, even French and 
Italians, were brought over to people this luxuriant 
wilderness. The soil, a rich black loam, hitherto 
untouched by the plough, yielded the most extra- 
ordinary produce. Fortunes were rapidly made ; 
and, at the present day, some of the wealthiest of 
the Hungarian gentry were, half a century ago, 
poor adventurers in the Banat. 


To those who have never lived in any but an 
old country, the soil of which is impoverished by 
the use of many ages, it is difficult to believe what 
riches are hidden in untilled ground. The produc- 
tive powers of a naturally good soil, deposited by 
swamps and rivers, when heightened by a climate 
more nearly tropical than temperate, are wonder- 
ful. The same crops are here repeated year after 
year, on the same spots ; the ground is only once 
turned up to receive the seed ; a fallow is un- 
known ; manure is never used, but is thrown away 
as injurious; and yet with the greatest care and 
labour in other places, I never saw such abund- 
ant produce as ill-treated unaided Nature here 
bestows upon her children. Except the olive and 
orange, there is scarcely a product of Europe which 
does not thrive in the Banat. I do not know 
that I can enumerate all the kinds of crop raised ; 
but, among others, are wheat, barley, oats, rye, 
rice, maize, flax, hemp, rape, sun-flowers (for oil), 
tobacco of different kinds, wine, and silk, nay, 
even cotton, tried as an experiment, is said to have 

All through Hungary, the state of agriculture, 
among the peasantry, is in a very primitive state. 
In the poorer parts, they allow the ground to fallow 
every other year, and sometimes manure it, though 
rarely. As for changing the crops, that is little 
attended to. Here they will continue year after 
year the same thing, without its making any appa- 


rent difference. Nowhere are the agricultural in- 
struments of a ruder form, or more inefficiently em- 
ployed than in the Banat. The plough is generally 
a simple one-handled instrument, heavy, and ill 
adapted for penetrating deeply into the soil. The 
fork is merely a branch of a tree, which happened 
to fork naturally, and which is peeled and sharp- 
ened for use. The corn is rarely stacked, being com- 
monly trodden out by horses as soon as it is cut. In 
the Wallack villages, notwithstanding the capabili- 
ties of the soil, maize is almost the only crop culti- 
vated. Barley is rarely found in any part of Hun- 
gary ; and, strange to say, where so many horses are 
kept, horse-beans are unknown. Green crops, ex- 
cept among a few agricultural reformers, are com- 
pletely neglected. The crop of hay is commonly 
cut twice in a season. I do not remember ever to 
have seen irrigation practised, though there are few 
countries in which it would be productive of greater 

The climate of the Banat, in summer, approaches 
nearly to that of Italy ; but the winter, though less 
inclement than in the rest of Hungary, is still too 
long and severe for the olive or the orange. Even 
in summer, the nights are often intensely cold. 
After the hottest day, the sun no sooner sets than 
a cool breeze rises, refreshing at first, but which 
becomes dangerous to those who are unprepared for 
it. The Hungarian never travels without his fur or 
sheep-skin coat; and the want of such a defence 

76 MINES. 

is often the cause of fever to the unsuspecting 

The scenery of the Banat is extremely various ; 
from the flat plains of Thorontal to the snowy 
mountains of Krasso, almost every variety may 
be found which the lover of Nature can desire. 
The rare, though seldom visited, beauties of the 
Maros, the smiling neighbourhood of Lugos, the 
darker attractions of the Cserna and the Reka, 
and the fine woods and pretty streams with 
which the Banat abounds, may justly entitle it 
to boast itself among the most favoured parts of 

The mines of the Banat, though of great an- 
tiquity,* and still worked, are less productive than 
those of the north. Near Qrawitza, coal has been 
found, and is now in use for the steam-boats, which 
the English engineers declare to be in no way in- 
ferior to the best Newcastle. The Banat mines are 
worked chiefly for copper, lead, tin, and zinc : of 
copper, about 7,000 cent, are annually produced; 
of lead, about 2,000 cent. ; and of zinc, about 500 
cent. The quantity of iron obtained I could not 
ascertain. About five thousand miners are em- 
ployed. It is a curious fact that, owing it is 
said to mal-administration, the coal is as dear as 
that obtained from England via Constantinople, 
notwithstanding the distance of carriage. 

* Some time since a silver coin was found, indicating the date 
at which these mines were first worked by the Romans. 


But one of the most curious features of the 
Banat is the motley appearance of its inhabitants, 
who, as the different races are generally in distinct 
villages, have preserved their national character- 
istics quite pure. In one village which, from the 
superiority of its buildings, and from the large 
and handsome school-house, you at once recognise 
to be German, you still see the old-fashioned 
costume of the Bavarian broom-girl, and the light 
blue eyes and sandy hair of their colder father- 
land. A few miles off, you enter a place formed 
only of the wooden hovels of the Wallacks ; and 
here, though it is in the midst of harvest, you 
find a number of lazy fellows lying about their 
doors, while their half-robed wives amuse them- 
selves with an occupation about their husbands' 
heads, for which the English language has no 
word fit for ears polite. The languages are pre- 
served as pure as other nationalisms ; and though 
the German can often speak Wallachian, you may 
be quite sure that the Wallack can only speak 
his own barbarous tongue. The Magyar and the 
Ratz, are equally characteristic and distinct. In 
one place, I think Kanisa, on finding the drivers 
spoke neither German, Hungarian, nor Wallack 
for the ear soon teaches one to distinguish these 
languages I inquired of a respectable-looking per- 
son, who was standing in the inn-yard, from whence 
they were? "Bulgarians," he answered in German: 
" and it is just one hundred years since they left 


Turkey, and established themselves on this spot, 
under the protection of the Emperor." The size 
of the village, and the appearance of the houses, 
sufficiently bespoke them to be a prosperous and 
flourishing colony. 

In some places, people of two or three nations 
are mixed together, and it not unfrequently hap- 
pens, that next door neighbours cannot under- 
stand each other. The different nations rarely 
intermarry, a Magyar with a Wallack, never. I 
do not here enter into the manners or customs 
of the inhabitants of the Banat, because every 
nation retains its own, and most of these, except 
the Wallacks, we have already spoken of, and of 
them we shall say more when we get into Tran- 

It is scarcely possible, in passing through some 
of the German villages of the Banat, such for in- 
stance as Hatzfeld, not to exclaim as a Scotch friend 
of mine did, " Would to God our own people could 
enjoy the prosperity in which these peasants live." 
It is, in fact, impossible to imagine those who live 
by the labour of their hands, enjoying more of the 
material good things of the world than they do. In 
addition to the richest land in the country, the 
Banat peasant has many privileges peculiar to him- 
self, conferred when it was an object to attract 
settlers from other districts, and these he still pre- 
serves. Among other things he is free from the 
"long journeys," the "hunting," the " spinning," the 


" chopping and carrying of wood," and from the 
tithe of fruit and vegetables. He has, moreover, 
free rights of fishing, of cutting reeds, and feeding 
his pigs, and gathering sticks in his master's forests, 
many of which, though trifling in themselves, give 
to the sober and industrious peasant, a great oppor- 
tunity to improve his position. But, more than all, 
he has the liberty to redeem half his days of labour, 
at the rate of ten kreutzers, or five pence per day, an 
advantage of which he never fails to avail himself. 

From the last station, before we arrived at Te- 
inesvar, a German peasant w r as our driver, who, on 
inquiring to whom the village, Billiet, belonged, 
shook his head, and said, " The Bishop of Agram." 
I was sure that portentous shake of the head meant 
something sorrowful ; and, as I never yet saw man 
in sorrow that did not wish to tell his woes, I knew 
I had only to encourage him, to get it all out ; and 
accordingly, from an inquiring look, he took courage, 
pulled his horses up to a walk, and, turning half- 
round on the box, began, " Why, sir, Billiet, and 
many other villages round here belong to the Bishop 
of Agram, who lives a long way off, and keeps his 
prefects here. Now, sir, this year the crops are 
very heavy, so the prefect comes with the new ur- 
barium, and says, ' I have the right to order you 
peasants to send from each house two men four 
days in each week during the harvest, that the 
corn may be the sooner in, and accordingly, I ex- 
pect you to obey/ But in our village, as indeed in 


all others, this urbarium is kept, and many have 
read it carefully, and found nothing of the sort 
in it; for, on the contrary, it is stated that a pea- 
sant holding an entire fief must send in harvest time 
one man for four days in two weeks, only, but then 
no more can be demanded for a fortnight. And 
so, sir, the Biro thought also, and he goes to the 
prefect to tell him his orders were unjust, and that 
he could not put them into execution. With that 
the prefect flies into a passion, tells the judge his 
business is to do what is ordered, not to bother his 
head about what he does not understand, and calls 
him a rogue, and other bad names which he did not 
deserve, for he is a very honest man, and respected 
by all the village. Determined not to suffer such 
an insult, the Biro replied that he neither could 
nor would act against the law and his conscience, 
and said that if he was a rogue, he could be no fit 
person to execute any longer the duties of Biro, 
and he therefore begged to lay down his stick of 
office. The next day the prefect sent orders to the 
peasants to elect a new Biro, but the peasants re- 
chose their former one, declaring that they would 
obey no other; and so at present the affair stands, 
no one knowing how it will terminate." 

All these misfortunes, the poor fellow seemed to 
think came from living under a bishop, and he 
complained sadly that the Emperor had so soon 
given them another after the. death of the last. 
" We had hardly done rejoicing that our old Bishop 


was dead," he continued, " when a new one came 
in his place." 

It is a prerogative of the Hungarian crown to 
retain the revenue of a bishopric for three years, 
between the death of one incumbent and the instal- 

ition of another, and it is very rarely that the right 
is not taken full advantage of, but in the present 

istance, the see remained vacant only six months. 
It must not be supposed that the tenants of the late 
bishop bore him any personal ill-will ; indeed, as 
he lived in Croatia, and they in the Banat, they 
could know very little of him ; but absenteeism be- 
gets no good- will anywhere, and the hope of being 
under the officers of the Kammer or Exchequer for 
three years, instead of the Bishop's steward, would 
more than have consoled them for the death of 
a dozen such prelates. I believe I must let the 
reader a little into the mysteries of this Exchequer 
Stewardship, this Kammer al Administration, before 
he can fully comprehend the peasant's joy at his 
Bishop's death, or his disappointment at his suc- 
cessor's speedy appointment. 

The King of Hungary is heir, in default of male 
descendants, of all fiefs male, under which title most 
of the land in Hungary is held, with the condition, 
however, that he shall, when he sees fit, confer it 
on others, as the reward of public services. All 
newly-conquered land of course belongs, in like man- 
ner, to the crown, so that at one time, the whole of 
the Banat, and the greater part of it still, as well 
VOL. n. G 


as many estates* in other parts of the country, are 
enjoyed by the king under this title. The steward- 
ship of such vast possessions necessarily employs a 
great number of persons, all of whom, particularly 
the inferiors, are, according to the rule of the Aus- 
trian Government, very badly paid. As might na- 
turally be expected under such a system, none but 
the very highest officers are insensible to the charms 
of a bribe. If an estate is to be purchased, ''the 
valuer must be fee'd that he may not over-value it, 
the resident-steward must be fee'd that he may not 
injure him in another point, and the clerks of the 
offices must also be fee'd in order to induce them 
to open their books and afford the necessary informa- 
tion. If the peasant of the Kammer wishes to 
escape a day's labour, a fat capon, or a dozen fresh 
eggs make the overseer of the Kammer forget to 
call him out; if his land is bad or wet, and if a por- 
tion in the neighbourhood farmed by the Kammer 
be better, a few florins adroitly distributed to the 
overseer, steward, valuer, clerks, and commissioners, 
make them all think it for the Kammer's benefit 
to exchange the good land for the bad. In many 
parts where this corrupt system has been carried 
out to its full extent, the peasant has no idea, when 
any favour of this kind is refused him, that it has 
been denied from a sense of its injustice, but 

* These estates must not be confounded with the Fiscal or 
Crown Estates ; a vast and inalienable property, from which a 
great part of the King of Hungary's revenues are derived. 



believes only that the offered bribe has not been 
high enough. So openly is this system pursued, 
that it is a matter of constant joke among the 
officers themselves. The knowledge of these prac- 
tices has produced such a want of confidence on 
the part of the superior members of the Kammer 
in their subalterns, that they have put a stop to 
everything like improvement in the lands of Go- 
vernment, as affording only additional opportunities 
for robbery on the part of their officers. Many 
very worthy officers for honourable men are to be 
found even under such corrupting circumstances 
disgusted at this want of energy at the source, dis- 
pirited by the damp thrown upon every scheme they 
have proposed for improving the property, and in- 
creasing the revenue, and irritated at being suspect- 
ed of crimes they are incapable of, have sunk into in- 
active followers of a bad system, instead of becoming 
what they might have been, its efficient reformers. 
I remember a steward one day pointing out to me 
some beautifully rich land, overgrown with thorns, 
in one of the loveliest valleys of the Banat. " You 
see the riches the soil offers us here," said he ; " you 
observe that the peasants sow nothing but maize, 
and that the greater portion of the land is useless. 
We have not even wheat for our own use. Shocked 
at so great a waste, and convinced that the soil 
would produce wheat, I tried the experiment on 
ground before untilled, and raised as fine a crop as 
I could wish. In my yearly report, of course this 

G 2 


was mentioned, and I suggested the importance of 
more extended trials : would you believe that I 
received a severe reprimand for my experiment, 
that the correspondence on the subject lasted two 
years, and that, had not the success been so very 
evident, I should have lost my place ? As it was, 
I was desired for the future not to depart from 
the usual routine without positive orders from my 
superiors ! " 

If such is the administration of estates which 
have been for years in the hands of the Kammer, 
it may easily be imagined how it must be with the 
estates of the church when the officers of the Kam- 
mer obtain a casual and only temporary possession 
of them, what glorious opportunities for specula- 
tion ! how certain the officers would be to make 
the best of their short harvest ! and how easily 
the peasants might find their profit under such a 
stewardship ! 

Now we are on the subject of the Kammer, we 
may as well point out another of the inconve- 
niences arising from a bad system of administration. 
The Government, oppressed by the greatest finan- 
cial difficulties, wishes to sell the whole of the Kam- 
meral property to pay some of the state debts. I 
ought to add, by way of parenthesis, that the do- 
nation of these estates, as a reward for public ser- 
vices, has become merely a legal fiction of late 
years ; and though it has been frequently protested 
against by the Diet, they really are sold like any 


other property. Whether it is that his Majesty 
does not think any of his subjects' services of 
such sterling value as to merit reward, or whether 
he thinks the payment of a good round sum into the 
Royal exchequer the most acceptable service they 
can render, I leave for those to decide who better 
understand royal estimations of such matters but 
so it is.* The sale, however, has progressed but 
slowly ; in fact, the stewards liked their situations, 
the valuers were good friends of the stewards, and 
so the prices set on the estates were such, that few 
were tempted to disturb them in their possession : 
only those who wish to obtain the rights of nobi- 
lity, as rich citizens, christened Jews, or foreign 
settlers, now buy land of the exchequer. 

That the consequences have been a serious injury 
to Government, a great impediment to the improve- 
ment of the country, and in fact an advantage to 
none but lazy and unjust stewards, are facts which 
every one admits, but no remedy has yet been applied. 

Temesvar, the capital of the Banat, and the win- 
ter residence of the rich Banatians, is one of the 
prettiest towns I know anywhere. It has two hand- 
some squares, and a number of very fine build- 
ings. The county-hall, the palace of the liberal and 

* Entre nous, reader, I believe it is better it should remain so. 
The king would be responsible to no one for the disposal of this 
powerful source of patronage, and it would naturally be exercised 
in favour of political partisans of the court party. In the mean 
time it is a pet grievance of the Diet, and serves very well to 
talk about 


enlightened Bishop of Csanad, the residence of the 
commander, and the Town-house, are all remarkable 
for their size and appearance. It was little better 
than a heap of huts in 1718, when Prince Eugene 
besieged the Turks, who then held it, and drove 
them for ever from this fair possession. At that 
time, too, the country round was a great swamp, 
and constantly infested with fevers of the most 
fatal character. Prince Eugene laid the plan of 
the present town, and commenced the fortifications 
by which it is surrounded. I have no doubt the 
defences are very good, for there are all manner 
of angles and ditches, and forts, and bastions, and 
great guns, and little guns ; so that wherever a man 
goes, he has the pleasant impression that half-a- 
dozen muzzles are pointing directly his way, and 
to an uninitiated son of peace that would appear just 
the impression a good fortification ought to convey. 
It is scarcely necessary to remain half an hour in 
Temesvar, to be convinced that, however success- 
fully Prince Eugene may have driven the Turks 
themselves from the country, neither he nor his 
soldiers could eradicate the strong marks of Turkish 
blood with which the good people of Temesvar are 
inoculated. A black eye and delicately arched nose, 
of a character perfectly eastern, cross one's path 
every moment. The Greek and Jewish families 
too who live here in great numbers, for the sake of 
trade, add to the foreign aspect of the population. 
We observed one or two beautiful heads under the 


little red Greek caps, the long braids of dark hair 
mixing fancifully with the bright purple tassels of 
that most beautiful of head-dresses. Of the society 
of Temesvar, I can say nothing from personal know- 
ledge. Report, that scandal- bearing jade, rather 
laughs at the costly display of wealth indulged in 
by the beau monde here ; accuses it of anything but 
an excess of mental cultivation ; and sneers about 
luxury and the fruit of newly acquired wealth, 
displayed without the taste which it requires a 
polished education and the habits of good society 
to confer. But- then, after all, Report is pro- 
bably poor and envious ; and I have no doubt 
Temesvar has just as good a tale against her mean- 
ness and pride, and probably laughs just as heartily 
about great names and little means, proud hearts 
and empty pockets. 

In that corner of the Banat, between Temesvar 
and the confines of Hungary, on the south and east, 
in other words, in the beautiful county of Krasso, 
the traveller can scarcely fail to notice the different 
state of the roads from those he has been previously 
accustomed to. Some thirty years ago the roads in 
this same county were impassable, the whole dis- 
trict was little better than a den of thieves, and the 
misery consequent on vice and disorder was every- 
where most severely felt. Determined to remedy 
this evil, Government appointed as F6 Ispan of the 
county, Baron Wenkheim, a man of enlarged views 
and of great energy of character. Under his direc- 


tion, affairs soon assumed a different aspect. A 
police was formed and maintained with almost 
military strictness of discipline, justice was adminis- 
tered with unbending severity, and the Baron soon 
succeeded in establishing a fear and respect for 
the law which it had long wanted. Security once 
obtained, it became his object to render it perma- 
nent. From the scattered manner in which the 
villages were built, it was found exceedingly difficult 
to obtain evidence of a suspected person's move- 
ments ; those of the peasantry who were anxious to 
screen an offender from the hands of justice, could 
always plead the distance of their dwellings, as a 
reason for their alleged or real ignorance of his 
movements. An order was given for the regulation 
of villages, by which they were brought near the 
public roads, built in a regular manner, no house 
being allowed to be at more than a certain distance 
from another, and every man was thus brought 
within the knowledge and observation of his neigh- 
bours. In case of the trial of any peasant, his 
immediate neighbours were, and are to this day, 
summoned to give evidence of his outgoings and 
incomings, of his character, means of living, and 
common occupations. It is obligatory on the 
neighbours to give this evidence ; and I believe, 
they are punishable if they do not take due 
notice of such facts. To the legal antiquary it 
will be scarcely necessary to mention the similarity 
of this system to the institution of frank pledges, 


or ti things, as described by Hal lam to have existed 
among the Anglo-Saxons, in very remote times.* 

The state of the roads was another object of his 
attention. Extensive lines of road were laid down, 
by which in the course of a few years, not only all 
the large places, but every two villages also would 
be united by a good road. Wenkheim's doctrine 
was, that it was better to do such things at once 
for independently of the present benefit, it was 
as yet thought no hardship by the peasants that 
they should be made to work at them, and there- 
fore was none; but the time was fast approaching 
when the peasant would have other ideas on such 
matters, and what was now easy might then be 
impossible. These lines of road are not yet com- 
pleted ; for after Wenkheim's death, which took 
place before his plans were executed, various causes 
retarded the finishing of them : but they are still in 
progress, and Krasso is already one of the most 
quiet and peaceable parts of the kingdom, and 
certainly the best-furnished with roads of any 
county in Hungary. 

While on a visit to Baron B in the neigh- 
bourhood of Lugos, we had an opportunity of joining 
in an amusement common enough in the wooded 

* I am not sure whether the same rule extends to other parts 
of Hungary, but I am inclined to believe it does ; and I think 
that it offers a more probable explanation of the existence of 
those large villages, and the absence of single houses, than that 
given by Marmont, who has been pleased to theorise on this 
subject after his own particular fashion. 


parts of the Banat. Among the baron's neighbours 
who had been invited to meet us at dinner, there 
was an eager sportsman, who of course led the 
conversation to his favourite theme. I had too 
much fellow-feeling not to be a willing listener, and 
glorious tales did he recount to us of wolves, and 
boars, and bears which had fallen before his rifle. 
Though we were positively to have started the next 
morning, it somehow or other happened that before 
the evening was over, we were busy in giving 
orders to have our guns cleaned, arranging the plan 
of operations, and listening to our host's prepa- 
ratory orders for a wolf-hunt. On inquiry in the 
village, he was assured that wolves had been seen 
and tracked in the vineyards only two days before, 
and every one was quite certain there were several 
in the neighbourhood. 

Now, although in the Banat the peasant is not 
obliged to attend his lord for three days' hunting, 
as in other parts of Hungary, yet it is rarely he 
refuses the request to aid in the sport, especially 
when wolves are about, or when, as in the present 
case, he likes his master and receives refreshments 
for his trouble. Accordingly, when we got up next 
morning we found no less than a hundred peasants 
collected about the house, waiting for us. As soon 
as our party had assembled, which consisted of some 
of the neighbouring gentry and of the officers quar- 
tered at Lugos, and after a hearty breakfast, which 
would have done honour to Scotland, had been 


concluded with a glass of Banat whisky, sliwowitz, 
out we sallied, three waggons and four being in 
attendance to conduct us to the place of meeting. 

Here the peasants were already collected, and an 
old sportsman was arranging and pointing out their 
stations as we came up. Twenty of them were 
furnished with guns, some of them in a melancholy 
state of infirmity; but, as they were principally 
intended to frighten the game, it was of little 
consequence : the rest were to act merely as 

We made our first cast in a low wood, half gorse, 
half timber, which occupied the two sides of a little 
valley, and which was traversed by the dry beds of 
several old water-courses. Towards one part of 
these courses the drivers were to make so as to 
force the game to break in that direction ; and here, 
at twenty or thirty yards' distance from each other, 
we were stationed. As the stranger, I was placed 
in the position most likely to have the first shot ; 
and most anxiously did I listen to the yells and 
shouts of the treibers, as they called to each other to 
enable them to keep their lines, and to the drop- 
ping shots of the jagers, intended to rouse the 
game if any there should be. It is not the plea- 
santest thing in the world for an uncertain shot to 
have half-a-dozen sportsmen below him on such an 
occasion as this, for the special purpose of " wiping 
his eye," should he miss the first shot he ever made 
at a wolf, especially if he finds himself starting at 


the crack of every dry bough and carrying his piece 
to his shoulder at every black-bird that flutters from 
her perch ; for though their politeness might spare 
the stranger the joke aloud, a sportsman's instinct 
tells him they would not enjoy it the less in silence. 
In thinking over such a scene afterwards, it might 
occur to one that there was some little danger 
among so many guns in a thick wood, especially 
when balls or slugs were chiefly used ; but, at the 
time, I defy a man who likes sport to plague himself 
with such fancies. By degrees the shouts became 
nearer, but there was nothing I could take for a 
view-halloo, the which, though I have no idea 
what sort of thing an Hungarian peasant would 
make of it, I would be bound to recognize by in- 
stinct, and at last one treiber and then another 
came up, and the Treib was declared out. 

Several times did we make our cast in different 
woods, but still with the same ill success, till evening 
came on when we returned to bear the railings of 
the ladies always unmerciful on luckless sportsmen. 
So ended our Treib-jagd. Our kind host, however, 
took it quite to heart ; " Such ingratitude," he said, 
" of the worthless beasts! not a year passes that they 
do not worry me a colt or two ; and now, on the 
only occasion when I have wished to see their 
grinning faces, not one would make his appearance." 
Let me add, that when I met him next year he was 
still inconsolable at the disappointment, though he 
had taken pretty good revenge a month after our 


visit, when they had killed seven in one day out of 
the very wood we first beat. 

A good dinner a necessary conclusion to hunt- 
ing, be the country what it may soon drove all the 
thoughts of disappointment out of our heads, and 
we were only sorry we could not stay to accept the 
invitation to a boar-hunt, which our sporting friend 
of the preceding evening would fain have pressed 
on us. 




Valley of the Temes Wallack Beauty. Ovid's Tower. Iron 
Works at Ruskberg. Effects of regular Work and regular Pay. 
Reformers in Hungary. Iron Bridge. Iron-gate Pass, 
between Hungary and Transylvania. Hospitality. Varhely 
the Ulpia Trajana of the Romans. The Dacians under their 
native kings conquered by Trajan. Wallack Language like 
the Italian. Wallacks of Dacian, not Roman, Origin. 
Roman Remains at Varhely. Amphitheatre. Mosaics. 

INSTEAD of entering Transylvania by any of the 
usual routes, we proceeded from Mehadia along the 
banks of the Temes, through some most lovely 
scenery, and along as good a road as any in England, 



for we were still in the military frontiers, to 
Karansebes, and then turning to the east we took 
the direction of the Iron-gate pass. The valley of 
the Temes is deficient in grandeur, but it is wild 
and wooded. Twice narrowing itself into a rocky 
pass where the road has been won from the moun- 
tain side, and again widening into meadows and 
cornfields, it presents every change of colour, and 
every variety of scene which can add charms to a 
landscape. The peasants too in their antique cos- 
tumes were still new to us, and the women were, or 
at least we thought them, remarkably beautiful. As 
we walked along the streets of Karansebes during 
the market-day, the number of beauties we met was 
extraordinary. It is curious how various are the 
opinions different travellers form of the beauty of a 
people. One passes along a road and meets nothing 
but pretty faces, as certainly was the case with 
us here ; another follows and sees not a beauty 
in the whole country. This struck me the more 
forcibly, as I again (afterwards) passed over this 
very road, and should certainly have formed but an 
ill opinion of the people's comeliness from my 
second visit. 

To the lovers of classical reminiscences, Ovid's 
tower is a name of irresistible attraction. About 
two miles from Karansebes, on a hill at the foot 
of the mountain Mika, is a small square castle, 

Non domus apta satis, 
which has obtained the popular title of Ovid's 


Tower, and whence are said to have issued those 
sweet lamentations at his cruel destiny which still 
keep a world in admiration. I know the learned 
say his place of banishment was on the other side 
of the Danube at Tomi, on the borders of the 
Black Sea. But I still am inclined to hope that 
some part of Ovid's sufferings might find a location 
here; where indeed could the poor poet have 
cried with greater truth 

Lassus in extremis jaceo populisque, locisque : 
Heu quam vicina est ultima terra mihi ! 

It is pleasant to believe that the Roman soldiers, 
when the conquests of Trajan, some half century 
later, had thrown Dacia into their hands, paused 
in their career of victory for it was along this 
valley they marched to visit the prison of their 
popular poet, and hand down the tradition of his 
residence there to the present Wallacks. 

A short distance from Karansebes, we turned off 
the high-road to visit the iron-works at Ruskberg. 
The Messieurs Hoffmann, Germans of great enter- 
prise, having purchased the estate of Ruskberg from 
the Government, have established in this wild 
valley a colony of now no less than two thousand 
five hundred persons, who are actively engaged in 
their works. Though the iron-foundry is the prin- 
cipal object of their industry, the Messieurs Hoff- 
mon have by no means confined themselves to it. 
Having found ores of silver, lead, and copper, as well 


as iron in their valley, they work them all. With 
that good fortune too, which so often attends the 
genius of enterprise, they discovered that a part 
of the rock overhanging the little stream which 
bends its course through the valley, was just of the 
height required for casting shot. Now it hap- 
pened that in all Hungary, Transylvania, and Wal- 
lachia, there was no shot-tower, though sporting is 
a very common amusement, so the Hoffmans were 
at once able to establish a trade which consumed 
not only all their own lead, but obliged them to pur- 
chase more. Their shot-tower is simply a fine crag 
one hundred and forty-four feet high. At the top 
is a small wooden house, in which the lead is melted 
and allowed to pass through the cullender-shaped 
mould, whence the shot falls directly into a little 
basin formed in the brook below. 

The iron-works are higher up the valley, and 
there we found quite a second colony composed 
of all nations, speaking all languages ; Magyars 
and Wallacks, Germans and Gipsies, Sclaves and 
Frenchmen, were working together apparently in 
the greatest harmony. I was much pleased with 
the account these gentlemen gave us of the conduct 
and character of the different races employed by 
them ; for it bore me out in an old theory of mine, 
that there is more good than evil in the worst of men, 
the first being an essential part of their nature, the 
last mostly the fruit of circumstances. At Rusk- 
berg, though the various nations presented marked 



national distinctions, yet the same treatment and 
the same position have produced nearly the same 
effects in all. By good management, regular pay- 
ment, and constant employment, the lazy Wallack 
had become an industrious artisan, and the wander- 
ing, roguish, degraded gipsy, a clever steady work- 
man. Yet many times have I heard injudicious 
philanthropists in Hungary declare how impossible 
it was to make the Wallacks labour, and that 
merely because they had failed in some pet scheme 
for changing in a day their habits and modes of 
life, the work of centuries ! How many kind-hearted 
people have given clothes to the naked gipsy, and 
offered him the shelter of a roof, and have branded 
him afterwards as incapable of civilization, and as 
insensible to the commonest feelings of gratitude ; 
because he sold the one to supply himself with 
what he needed more, or forsook the other to 
seek some occupation less foreign to his tastes and 
habits ! 

The Reformer's is always an arduous task ; but 
when his efforts are directed to the improvement of 
the manners and the character of men, it is a labour 
to which very few are equal. To be able to enter 
into the thoughts and feelings of others to appre- 
ciate circumstances, in which one has never been 
placed to judge of the wants and necessities to 
which they give rise to seize the points by 
which men may be influenced to eradicate the 
bad and leave the good parts of their character 


untouched to devote heart and soul, without a 
thought of self-interest to such a work, and then 
to bear cheerfully the suspicion, the calumny, the 
opposition of those for whom one has laboured, 
these are some of the qualities required by him 
who undertakes to reform mankind. As for those 
philanthropic absolutists, who insist on making men 
happy either in this world or the next, whether 
they will or not, I hold them to be the greatest 
enemies of their species. If, instead of enforcing on 
man a happiness which does not suit him, they 
would but content themselves with removing all 
those obstacles which bad laws and the false insti- 
tutions of society impose between poverty and im- 
provement ; if they would but busy themselves in 
placing man in a position to help himself, and take 
care to show him an example in their own persons 
of those virtues they are most anxious he should 
practise ; I am convinced that the spirit of moral 
advancement, and the desire of bettering his con- 
dition, are principles so strongly implanted in human 
nature, that they must prevail. Nay, so certain do 
I feel of this improvability in the human race, that 
I have often thought the great men of the earth 
must needs have employed all their wit and cun- 
ning to invent wicked laws to depress the little 
men, or the little would long ere this have been 
much greater than they are, though it is just pos- 
sible that the great might have grown somewhat 
less by the process. 


But it is time to return to the iron-works. The 
Messieurs Hoffman showed us the parts of an iron 
bridge they were constructing for Mehadia, on 
a plan similar to one already erected at Lugos. 
This bridge was said to have been invented by one 
of their workmen, a German, who constructed as 
a model a small bridge over the brook of Ruskberg. 
The model bridge, which has been erected some 
years, and is in constant use, is about eighteen feet 
long by four wide, and weighs only 1 cent. The 
principle a new one,* so far as I am aware de- 
pends on the tension of the arch being maintained 
by the binding-rods, which unite the two ends, and 
which is consequently increased the greater the 
weight imposed. It will be better understood by 
supposing two strung bows laid on piers to repre- 
sent the bridge, the road being formed only by 
planks resting on the strings. This bridge has the 
advantages of being the lightest and cheapest, of 
affording the greatest quantity of space below, and 
of requiring, at the same time, the least height in 
the piers supporting it. Three or four of these 
bridges are now erected in different parts of Hun- 
gary, varying in some minute details only, and have 
been found to answer extremely well. 

Another novelty, at least to me, which their 
works presented was this. Requiring a great deal 

* Having shown a drawing of this bridge to Mr. Tierney 
Clark, he assures me that a similar one exists in Yorkshire, and 
that it has been built many years. 


of wood for building, they fell their own timber, saw 
it in their own mills, and, to avoid the inconvenience 
arising from its greenness, they dry it before using it. 
This is done by placing the planks in a small closed 
building, into which a stream of hot steam is di- 
rected, which, entering the wood, drives out its 
natural juices I suppose on the principle of endos- 
mose and exosmose penetrating the vessels in 
which they are contained, and supplying their place. 
The moisture from the steam itself is easily got rid 
of by a little exposure to the sun. Supposing the 
shrinking of new wood to occur from the gradual 
drying out of these juices and it is highly pro- 
bable that in the close texture of wood, viscous 
fluids, confined in their proper vessels, would re- 
quire much time to exude the theory seems plau- 
sible; and, what is still more, Messieurs Hoffman 
assured me that experience had proved it to be cor- 
rect, for wood so treated did not shrink afterwards, 
nor was it in any respect inferior to old wood. 

It is unnecessary to speak of all the works we 
saw carried on here the smelting-works, crushing- 
mills, washing-floors, iron-hammers, smelting-fur- 
nace, casting-floors, moulding-rooms, shot-sorting, 
engine-making, sa wing-mills, indeed, almost all the 
ruder processes to which the working of metals 
leads. We were pressed to stay another day, and to 
visit the mines which were still higher up the valley, 
and which are said to be particularly interesting to 
the geologist, from some peculiarities in the strata 


which they present, as well as a quarry of fine 
white marble, which has been used by the statuary; 
but we were already in October, and the traveller 
can scarcely count on fine weather in Hungary after 
the commencement of November, so that we were 
forced reluctantly to decline. 

The border tract between Hungary and Tran- 
sylvania could not boast the smoothest of roads ; but 
we arrived safely at the summit of the low moun- 
tain pass, where a Wallack cross, curiously carved 
with the bastard Greek letters which the Wallacks 
use, the top covered in by a neat shingle-roof, some- 
thing like Robinson Crusoe's umbrella, marked the 
boundary. On the Hungarian side we had the 
cold bare mountains, ripening in the distance into 
wooded hills, beyond which we could just perceive 
the rich plain of the Banat ; while, towards Transyl- 
vania, a deep mountain gorge, whose yellow-tinted 
hanging woods buried its depth in mystery, carried 
the eye over a succession of lovely hills and valleys, 
to which the deep warm shadows of an autumnal 
sunset lent a charm of peculiar grace and beauty. 

At the narrowest part of this pass the Romans 
are said to have had literally an iron gate, which 
gave its name to the place. At present not a re- 
main of any kind exists ; but it is curious that three 
of the most difficult passages which Trajan en- 
countered in his expedition against Dacia in the 

Balkan, on the Danube below Orsova, and at the 
entrance of Transylvania should all retain the 


name of Iron-Gate Pass, in the language of the 
common people, to the present day. This pass has 
been alternately contested by Dacian, Roman, Turk, 
and Christian ; and many are the scenes of savage 
glory it has witnessed; many the dying groans it 
has received. Happily, these times are gone by; 
and the Borderer, who now keeps his solitary guard 
on the contested point, finds no more formidable 
enemy than the poor salt-smuggler ; and the pass 
itself is only a terror to the horses, who can hardly 
drag their burthen through its deep and clayey 
roads. We were fortunate to have passed it before 
night, which overtook us rather suddenly as we 
approached the village of Varhely. 

Here we were willing to stay, could quarters be 
obtained ; but hearing that nothing like an inn 
was to be found, we gave orders to proceed on to 
Hatszeg, though the driver declared his horses were 
tired, and the road worse than ever. During the 
conversation which ensued, an old Wallack joined 
the party, and offered his opinion on the folly of my 
proposition very unreservedly, wondering why we 
could not be content to stop at the house of the 
Dumnie (Dominus) the squire of the village. 
Now, though I knew that Transylvania was the 
very home of hospitality, I did not like to demand 
it quite so unceremoniously; but the peasant saved 
me the necessity, for, trotting off, he returned in a 
few seconds with an invitation from his master, for 
us to make use of his house during our stay. 


The Wallack's Dumnie was an Hungarian noble of 
the poorer class, possessing one-third of the village 
of Varhely, and living in the style of one of our 
smallest farmers. The family consisted of the 
young master, his mother and two sisters, who, 
though they spoke only Hungarian and Wallack, 
came out to receive us, and assured us that we were 
heartily welcome. The house was a pretty building 
of one story, raised four feet above the ground, 
and was entered by a handsome portico. It con- 
sisted of the kitchen, which was half filled with 
the high hearth, two rooms on each side, and below 
store-rooms and cow-houses ; the whole being en- 
closed by a garden on one side, and by the large 
farm-yard and buildings on tlie other. We were 
shown into the best rooms, usually occupied by the 
family as sleeping-rooms ; and, in a very short time, 
the beds were covered with the whitest linen, while 
the table offered a hearty supper to console us for 
the cold dinner we had taken during the morning, 
and to satisfy the keen appetite the mountain air 
had blessed us with. 

Varhely, or Gradistie, in the language of the 
Wallacks, is a place of so much interest, that we 
thought ourselves singularly fortunate in obtaining 
our present shelter. Though now a miserable Wal- 
lack village, Varhely occupies the site of Sarmise- 
gethusa, the former capital of the Dacians, the 
residence of Decebalus their king ; and on the ruins 
of which, Ulpia Trajana was founded, the imperial 


city which Trajan destined as the seat of govern- 
ment, for his conquests beyond the Danube ! 

The name of Dacia scarcely makes its appearance 
in history, till the time of Alexander, when the 
Dacians, under their King Sarmis, refusing to sub- 
mit to the conqueror's arms, their kingdom was 
ravaged, and peace with difficulty obtained. This 
Sarmis is said to have built the town, which was 
named from him, and this is rendered almost cer- 
tain by a gold coin found near Thorda, arid which 
bears his effigy, with the words 2APMI2 BAZIA 
on one side, and on the reverse, the fortified gate of 
a town. On the division of Alexander's conquests 
among his generals, Thrace, together with the 
countries on either side the Danube, fell to the 
share of Lysimachus. But Dacia had been over- 
run, not subdued ; and the new king found his 
subjects so little inclined to accept his rule, that he 
was obliged to march against them at the head of a 
large force. Dromichretes, the successor of Sarmis, 
was prepared for the attack, and succeeded, not 
only in resisting the Grecian army, but in capturing 
its chief, and appropriating the rich plunder of his 

It is probable that at this time, either from the 
plunder of the camp, or from the ransom of his pri- 
soners, the Dacian King obtained an immense trea- 
sure, for on two separate occasions, if I am rightly 
informed, once in 1545, and again about twenty 
years since, many thousand gold coins have been 


discovered in this neighbourhood, some of them 
bearing the name of Lysimachus, and others the 
word KO2HN from the name of the town Cossea 
in Thrace, where they were struck. I am in pos- 
session of some of these coins; and though many were 
melted down by the Jews, in Wallachia, to whom 
they were conveyed across the frontier in loaves of 
bread, they are still very common, and are fre- 
quently used by the Transylvanians for signet rings, 
and other ornaments. 

From this time, for nearly two hundred and fifty 
years, the history of Dacia is almost a blank, but 
in the commencement of Augustus's reign we find 
these barbarians, led on by their King Cotyso, the 
same probably whom Ovid addresses, 

Regia progenies, cui nobilitatis origo, 
Nomen in Eumolpi pervenit usque, Coty, 

Fama loquax vestras si jam pervenit ad aures, 
Me tibi finitimi parte jacere soli ! 

rushing down into Italy, and committing such ra- 
vages as to fix the attention of Rome on them 
as dangerous enemies. Engaged for some years 
in frequent wars, with various fortune, they obtained 
at last so decided an advantage over the weakness 
of Domitian as to reduce that Emperor to accept 
a peace, accompanied by the most disgraceful 
conditions, and among others the payment of a 
yearly tribute to Dacia. Decebalus, however, the 
then King of the Dacians, had, in the eyes of 
Rome, merited his destruction by his success, and 


no sooner did Trajan assume the Imperial purple 
than he determined to restore to its brightness the 
tarnished honour of the empire, and accordingly 
prepared an expedition against Dacia which he 
headed himself. 

Trajan seems to have passed through Pannonia 
(Hungary), to have crossed the Theiss, and followed 
the course of the Maros into Transylvania. His 
first great battle was on the Crossfield, near Thor- 
da. After an obstinate contest, the Dacians were 
completely routed, and Decebalus obliged to take 
refuge in Sarmisegethusa. The Crpssfield is still 
called by the Wallack peasants the " Prat de Tra- 
jan" (Pratum Trajani), a curious instance of the 
tenacity of a people's recollections. Reduced to 
the last extremity, Decebalus was obliged to ac- 
cept humiliating conditions, which he took the first 
opportunity of breaking. Trajan, however, had de- 
termined that Dacia should form a Roman pro- 
vince, and he at once set out again to complete 
his conquest. 

Better acquainted with the geography of the 
country, Trajan chose a nearer route, and one by 
which he might at once reach his enemy's capital. 
It was on this occasion that he crossed the Danube, 
below the Iron Gate, where his famous bridge was 
afterwards built, and sending one part of his army 
along the Aluta, he himself seems to have followed 
the valley which now leads from Orsova, by Meha- 
dia and Karansebes, over the Iron-gate Pass, direct 


to Sarmisegethusa. On the column of Trajan, at 
Rome, the chief events of these two campaigns are 
most minutely depicted, and thus completely do 
away with many fables which historians have ap- 
pended to the story. It appears that the Dacians, 
unable any longer to defend their capital, set fire to 
it, and fled to the mountains. Decebalus, finding it 
impossible to escape his pursuers, stabbed himself 
and many of his followers destroyed themselves by 
poison to avoid subjection to the Romans. It is 
much to be desired that the history of this war 
should be written by one acquainted with the topo- 
graphy and antiquities of Transylvania, as well as 
with the materials which Rome and her writers afford. 
Trajan, when he had completed the subjugation 
of the country, turned his attention to the security 
of the new province. The present Transylvania 
became Dacia Mediterranea ; Wallachia and Mol- 
davia, Dacia Transalpina; and the Banat, Dacia 
Ripensis. The bridge over the Danube, the road 
cut in the rock along its banks, the formation of 
colonies at Varhely, Karlsburg, Thorda, and several 
other places, and the connecting them by roads, 
remains of which still exist, were the means he 
employed to perpetuate the power of Rome, in the 
newly-acquired territory.* 

* It has been said that Trajan, through the treachery of a Da- 
cian, discovered the hidden treasures of Decebalus, which he had 
concealed in the bed of a brook, having turned its course to enable 
him to place them there. This story derives some confirmation 
from the column, on which, after the taking of the city, are seen 


Notwithstanding the resolution of Hadrian to 
forsake the conquests of his predecessor, and the 
steps he actually took for that purpose, the Romans 
jem to have remained masters of Dacia, till the 
;ime of Aurelian, when they finally retired across ^ 
ihe Danube, and gave up Dacia to the Goths. \(JH 

Although the duration of the Roman empire in 
lis country was much shorter than in many others n^- 
>f Europe about one hundred and seventy years *v 
only, yet in none did they leave such striking ' 
remains of their domination, especially in the Ian- /5 & 
guage, as here. The Wallack of the present day fv 

Us himself "Rwmunyi? and retains a traditional 77h 
[pride of aiic^s^rj,_inspiteofhis present degrada- Wt 

The language now spoken by all the people 
of this nation is soft, abounding in vowels, and de- 
riving most of its words from the Latin. The pro- 
nunciation resembles much the Italian, and it is 
extraordinary that the inflexions and terminations 
of the words have a much greater similarity to the 
modern language of Italy than to their Latin origi- 
nal. This would tend to prove, as no connection 
has existed between the countries since that time, 
either that the vulgar language of Rome was more lj\ 
simple than we commonly imagine, or that, in both y 

cases, the changes have been the natural ones to 
which a language submits, on its being mixed with 

several horses bearing to Trajan panniers filled with treasures, 
principally consisting of rich cups and vessels. The coins found 
in 1545, were actually discovered in the bed of this very brook. 


others and simplified by the use of an uneducated 
or foreign people. Nothing is so complex in the 
quantity of its inflexions as a pure language, nothing 
so simple as a compound and mixed one. (^Someyof 
the Wallack words are, I believe, Sclavish, which 
may be accounted for by supposing the Sclavish 
to have been the original language of the Dacians 
(and from certain Sclavish names of rivers and 
mountains here, as well as in Wallachia, I am 
inclined to believe this the case), or it may be 
owing to the later mixture of the races, but the 
preponderance of Latin is so great as to strike a 
foreigner immediately, and to render the acquisition 
of the language very easy. On one occasion, being 
without a servant who spoke the language, I learned 
enough, for a traveller's needs, in a day or two, 
and when at a loss, I always resorted to Italian, 
which was often understood, and with a slight 
change of sound became Wallack.* 

While I am dabbling in the philosophy of lan- 
guage, let me not forget a trait which, on my 
return from Turkey, struck me very forcibly. From 
the Turk the Wallack has borrowed but few words ; 
but one familiar sound has become so fixed in his 
vocabulary, that he will never lose it ; and it marks, 
as well as a hundred pages, the relation in which 
the Turk and Wallack stood to each other. This 
little word is, " haide ! " In Constantinople it is 

* I may instance, bun cai, for buoni cavalli ; and apa, for 



the Frenchman's " va-t~en" to the beggar-boy, the 
Austrian's "marchir" to his dog, our "come up'' 
to a horse, or the " begone" of an angry master to 
his servant yet none of these languages have any 
one word of command applied alike to man or 
beast; but such is the "haide" of the Turk, and 
such the word he hath bequeathed to the Wallack 
language, a lasting monument of his imperious 
sway. However the Wallack poet may in after- 
ages gloss over the fact of his people's slavery, his 
own tongue will belie him as often as the familiar 
" haide" escapes from his lips. 

It is difficult to say how far the Wallack of the 
present day has a title to his claim of Roman de- 
scent. It was natural enough that the half-civilized 
\Dacians should regard with contempt and hatred 
the savage hordes which succeeded the Romans, and 
although conquered, that they should proudly cherish 
the name of /Rumunyi. ) The greater number of the 
[Roman colonists retired across the Danube, but it is 
possible that some may have remained behind, and 
from such the Wallacks of Hatszeg claim their 
descent. The rest, I believe, are content with the 
honour of that mixture of Roman and Dacian blood 
which one may naturally suppose to have taken 
place between the conquerors and the conquered. 

That this admixture of races, however, has had 
so great an influence as travellers have been led 
to think, from observing the difference of features 
between the Wallack and his neighbours, the 



Magyars and Saxons, I am much inclined to doubt, 
for the features of the Wallacks are more like 
those of the Dacian of Trajan's column, than those 
either of the Romans or of the modern Italians. 
The more I think of the matter, the more I am 
convinced that the majority of the Wallacks are 
true Dacians; and as the best proof, I subjoin two 
Wallack heads, sketched without any reference to 
the question, which if the reader be sufficiently 
curious in the matter to compare them with the 
figures of Dacians and Romans engraved from 
Trajan's column, he will find little difficulty, I think, 
in saying to which people they belong. 

Preceded by our host, we commenced a survey 
of Ulpia Trajana. Just beyond the village, we 
found a large space of several acres covered with 
stones of all sizes, which had once been used in 


building; and in some places we discovered the 
arched roofs of vaulted chambers, which had been in 
several places broken into, but they seemed only to 
be the lower parts of the buildings, and possessed 
little interest. This space is somewhat higher than 
the rest of the country, and has been surrounded 
by a ditch and mound, which we found extended a 
quarter of a mile into the village. It is called 
by the people the Csetatie, fortified place or castle ; 
but to what age it belongs, or what it may have 
been, I know not. A little further on, in the same 
direction, we came upon the remains of an am- 
phitheatre. The outer walls are entirely covered 
with earth, forming a grassy bank of about twelve 
feet high, and surround an oval space of about 
seventy-five yards long, by forty-five in its greatest 
width. The arena is now under plough, and pro- 
duces a fine crop of Indian corn. Scarcely a stone 
is left, and yet the form declares, as strongly as 
evidence can do, its origin and destination. Our 
host, who owns this part of the village, seemed 
proud in telling us the good speculation he had 
made, in selling the large hewn stones which once 
covered the sides and surface of the place, to his 
neighbours, who were building houses. As well as 
we could make out, they were laid in the form 
of steps,* and from his praises of their size, they 

* I am inclined to think that the name of Gradistie may have 
been given to the place by the Wallacks in consequence of these 
step,-(Gradu,) ^^^^ &&<& OF 



must have been considerable. The shafts of two 
pillars and a stone seat, with some Roman letters, 
which now ornament our host's yard, were brought, 
he said, from this place. From hence, we could 
trace elevations and inequalities in the ground, 
which, though now overgrown with grass, seemed 
to indicate the sites of former buildings, for more 
than a mile along the plain. It is said, that 
remains of an aqueduct still exist ; but of these 
we observed nothing, any more than of the Roman 
road, though it is highly probable that a better 
knowledge of the country, and the ability to con- 
verse with the people, might have enabled us to 
discover them. The difficulty of obtaining any 
information from an uneducated farmer, through 
the interpretation of an ignorant servant, is very 

It is impossible to stand on the ruins of this 
amphitheatre, with the traces of a former city 
around you, the beautiful plain stretched out at 
your feet, and bounded by a range of distant hills, 
without calling to mind Rome, her Campagna, and 
her clear blue mountains. The very forms of the 
hills towards Hatszeg favoured the illusion; and, 
as the last rays of the setting sun gilded their tops, 
we had already made out a Tivoli, an Albano, and a 

Towards the middle of the village, we were con- 
ducted to see a Mosaic pavement, discovered here 
in 1823. To obtain a sight of this object, however, 


we had been obliged to send off the servant early 
in the morning to a village ten miles distant, where 
the lady, to whom this part of Varhely belongs, 
lives; for she had erected a shed over the pave- 
ment, to preserve it from the destructive hands of 
visitors, and would only give the key to persons 
with whom she thought it would be safe. As we 
were totally unknown, we had some doubt as to 
the success of our application ; but the servant 
returned with the key, which the lady had no 
hesitation, she said, in lending to Englishmen, as she 
felt sure they would do no injury; and with this 
very polite message she had sent also some wine for 
our use, as none was to be obtained at Varhely. 
How lucky, that she guessed Englishmen loved 
genuine wine as well as genuine antiquities ! 

About three feet below the surface, and sur- 
rounded by the original walls, which are eighteen 
inches high, we found two Mosaic pavements, 
which, from their size, separation by a wall, and 
relative position, were probably the floors of two 
baths. The chamber on the left, nearly twenty 
feet square, was occupied by a very perfect Mosaic, 
surrounded by a highly ornamented border, repre- 
senting the visit of Priam to Achilles, to beg the 
dead body of Hector. The names of I1PIAMO2, 
AXIAAET2, and ATTOMEAQN, the sword- 
bearer of Achilles, are worked in Greek letters; 
while Mercury, who has conducted Priam, is suffi- 
ciently indicated by his caduceus and wings. The 



kneeling figure of Priam, embracing the knees of 
Achilles, is well drawn, and full of expression, and 
the dress of the Trojan king is worthy of remark, 
as bearing a considerable resemblance to that worn 
by the Wallacks in winter. The drawing and shad- 
ing of Mercury declare the artist to have been 
among the best of the time ; few, if any, of those 
of Rome or Pompeii are superior. The sitting- 
figure of Achilles, apparently crowned with laurels, 
though the head as well as the breast have suffered, 
is easy and dignified. 

The colours, though not bright, are tolerably 
well preserved. At first, the whole was so covered 
with dust, that it was with difficulty any colour 
could be distinguished ; but, after carefully washing 
it, and drying it, they came out more clearly. 
Some few parts have received a slight incrustation 
of lime, which might easily be removed with a 
knife, but we dared not attempt it. The Wallack 
who was entrusted to take back the key, looked 
sufficiently alarmed at the washing; and his ig- 
norance might easily have given an unfavourable 
report to his mistress, and caused other travellers 
still greater difficulties in seeing it had we attempted 
to remove the lime. 

The Mosaic on the right, represents the judg- 
ment of Paris. The first figure is Venus, apparently 
holding the coveted apple in her left hand above 
her shoulder. A tight blue and white figured dress 
covers her to the hips, from whence loose drapery 


hangs down to the feet. The second figure is pro- 
bably Juno, whose face, as well as that of her 
neighbour, whose helmet, gorgon-headed breast- 
plate, and spear, bespeak her Minerva, is over- 
clouded by the scowl of disappointed vanity. The 
left hand of Minerva, probably rested on her shield ; 
but the whole of the lower corner is much injured 
and very indistinct. These three figures are all 
beautifully worked out with rich colours, and a 
little cleansing from the lime would render them 
quite distinct. On the other side, Paris sits in 
judgment, wearing the Phrygian cap; and behind 
him, stands Mercury: both these figures are con- 
siderably injured, and scarcely equal to the others 
in workmanship. Part of the body of Mercury is 
wanting, and its place is supplied by white Mosaic, 
ancient, but from the different size and colour of 
the pieces evidently repaired by another hand. 

We had found so much trouble it took us the 
greater part of a day in removing the dust and 
dirt with which these Mosaics were obscured, that 
we got two linen covers made, and gave directions 
that they should always be placed over them, except 
when they were shown. As the peasants who were 
constantly with us, saw the pleasure we took in 
such things, they soon brought every relic of anti- 
quity the village could boast ; among others, a small 
female head in white marble, part of a small Doric 
capital of delicate workmanship, besides several 
common silver and copper coins of Roman Em- 


perors, found in the place. We paid them for 
these things, not on account of their intrinsic value, 
but rather to encourage them to preserve everything 
they might find. The larger objects, we deposited 
with the Mosaics, where, I dare say, future tra- 
vellers will find them. It was not till after we had 
left Varhely, that I was aware that a second Mo- 
saic had been discovered there ; but in a paper by 
M. A. Ackner, in the "Transylvania," a very 
useful periodical, now defunct, dedicated to the 
antiquities of this country, I find mention of a 
large Mosaic, discovered in 1832, of which only 
a small part remained perfect, and which, from 
some dispute among those to whom the land be- 
longed, had been again covered up. 


DEMSUS. 119 



Demsus. The Leiter-Wagen. Roman Temple its Form and 
probable History. Paintings in Wallack Churches. Wai- 
lack Priests and their Wives. Russian Influence over the 
Members of the Greek Church. Origin of the United Greek 
Church. Religious Oppression. Education of the Greek 
Priesthood. Village of Varhely. The Wallack Women. 
Wallacks and Scotchmen, Wallack Vices and Wallack Vir- 
tues. The Devil's Dancers. Our Host's Family. House- 
hold Arrangements. The Buffalo. 

THE next morning, our host offered to drive us 
over to Demsus, to show us some antiquities there ; 
and as even he said the road was too bad for our 
carriage, we were glad to content ourselves with a 
Leiter-Wagen, so called from the similarity which 
its sides bear to a ladder. In this part of the 
world, everything is in so very primitive a state, 
that these carriages are not only deficient in springs, 
but they have often not even a particle of iron 
about them, so that it is impossible to conceive 
by what means they hold together. They are 
gifted, however, with the singular power of bend- 
ing about like a snake; and, as one wheel mounts 
a bank, while the other falls into a pit, the body 


accommodates itself, by a few gentle contortions, 
to these varieties of position, without in any way 
deranging itself or its contents. 

Trusting ourselves to this conveyance, we follow- 
ed the low range of sand-stone hills which confine 
the valley on one side, while, on the other, are the 
marble cliffs bounding Wallachia, as far as Pes- 
teny, where we turned into a lesser valley which led 
us to Demsus. On a small hill, which overlooks 
the twenty or thirty cottages which constitute this 
humble village, stands a stone building now used 

as a Wallack church. It is small, with a curious 
half-ruined steeple, its ensemble so bizarre, as to be- 
speak at once considerable intervals between the 
periods of the erection of its different parts, and 


variety in the taste of its architects. It seems 
to have been originally a Roman temple, the in- 
terior of which was about eight yards square, with 
a semicircular dome, a recess towards the east, and 
a portico to the west. The place of the portico is 
now supplied by high walls composed of stones, 
evidently brought from other parts of the building, 
and more recently converted to their present pur- 
pose. The entrance to the body of the temple re- 
mains in its original state ; it is small, low, and 
quite simple. In the interior are four large square 
pillars, supporting an equal number of clumsy round 
arches, on which again the tower rests. These 
pillars bear monumental inscriptions,* and some 
figures of horses, and are evidently of Roman work- 
manship; but I must confess, I never saw anything 
similar in any other Roman temple, nor do I ever 
remember to have seen before this kind of inscrip- 

* Among the most perfect I copied the following : 





tion on pillars. Indeed, in form these pillars more 
resemble altars, although from their position and 
similarity they appear to have been originally in- 
tended for the purpose to which they are still ap- 
plied. It is possible, that in the centre of these 
four arches the altar had formerly stood, and a 
square piece of the floor, which is still without 
pavement, though the rest has its ancient cover- 
ing of hewn stone, indicates the want of something 
which had once occupied this spot. In the semi- 
circular recess behind might have stood the statue 
of the god. 

The exterior walls are supported by recent but- 
tresses, in the construction of which the shafts of 
several pillars have been employed, which, as well 
as some others which lie near, had probably be- 
longed to the portico. In another part I observed 
a Corinthian capital reversed, and built into the 
wall ; it appeared rich, and in a pure style, and may 
serve to determine the order of the architecture. 
For what purpose an arched passage which runs 
along the south side was intended, I was quite un- 
able to surmise. By means of the half-broken walls 
of the semi-circular dome, we mounted to the out- 
side of the tower. Here we found an opening into 
a small chamber, two yards square and one high, in 
the body of the tower, and from this there is a very 
small opening into a circular passage, running round 
the inside of the little tower between the outer wall 
and the chimney-like opening, which gives light 


to the interior. The tower itself is built partly of 
bricks, partly of stones and pieces of marble from 
other parts of the building. This tower is to me 
a complete puzzle. It is evidently later than some 
other parts of the building, yet it is too elegant to 
be the work of mere barbarians. As for the use to 
which the chamber and circular passage had been 
put, I cannot even offer a suggestion. They cannot 
have been intended, as some one supposes, to have 
concealed the priest who spoke the oracle, for they 
would not have enabled him to communicate with 
the statue ; they could scarcely have served as 
hiding-places for treasure; and there is no mark 
of the tower having been used in Christian times 
for a belfry. Besides the inscriptions I have copied, 
there are fragments of several others, but none of 
them afford any clue to the history of the build- 
ing, nor any indication to what god it was dedi- 
cated, unless indeed, the D.M. at the head of the 
first, and the figure of the horse may not suggest 
Mars as its patron. I am inclined to believe, that 
the four pillars, the arches, and the tower, were 
built after the temple itself by such of the descend- 
ants of the Romans as remained after the evacua- 
tion of Dacia, and when the original building had 
suffered from the attacks of some of the earlier 
barbarian invaders. On ascending the tower, we 
observed two statues of lions much injured, and 
apparently but rudely carved. 

This temple is now, and has been from time im- 


memorial, used by the Wallacks as a church, to 
which circumstance it probably owes its preserva- 
tion. The semi-circular recess forms the altar, 
which is adorned by the most wretched prints of 
Greek virgins, St. Georges, and other grim saints, 
and is separated from the rest of the building by 
a carved wooden screen. The walls, as is common 
in Greek churches, are covered with rude frescoes : 
in the present instance, they are very practical 
illustrations of the evils of immorality, and if the 
husbands and wives of Demsus do not obey a cer- 
tain commandment, it is not for want of knowing 
how the devil will catch them at their peccadilloes, 
for it is here painted to the most minute details. 
I have often been much amused with these pic- 
tures in the Wallack churches; for, though too 
gross for description, they contain so much of that 
racy, often sarcastic wit proper to Rabelais or 
Chaucer, wrought out with a minuteness of dia- 
bolical detail and fertility of imagination worthy a 
Breughel, that it recalls to one's mind the laboured 
illuminations of our old missals. Notwithstanding 
its sins against pure taste, there is often much that 
is good in the church's humour ; nor, despite the 
reverence due to the holy character of the subject, 
is it possible to repress a smile at the sly malice of 
the monkish illuminator, when he decks out the 
pharisee in the robes and jewels of some neighbour- 
ing bishop ; or at the prurient imagination of the 
cloister, when it breaks forth in warm delineation 


of all the charms and temptations by which sin can 
lead poor man astray. 

As we were looking at the church, the Wallack 
priest came up and spoke to us. He was dressed in 
a very white linen shirt, fashioned like that of the 
common peasant, and fastened round his waist by a 
leathern belt ; loose linen trowsers formed his nether 
habit, and the rude sandal of the country served 
as covering for his feet. Except from a somewhat 
greater neatness of person, and the long black beard 
which hung down to his breast, the Wallack priest 
was in no way distinguished from the humblest of 
his flock. With just enough education to read the 
service of the church, just enough wealth to make 
them sympathize with the poor, and just enough 
religion to enable them to console them in their 
afflictions, these men exercise a greater power over 
the simple peasant than the most cunning Jesuit, 
the most wealthy Episcopalian, or the most rigid 
Calvinist. This is a strong point in favour of the 
Wallack priest ; but I suspect he owes it more to 
his position than his character ; the sympathy of 
equality begets affection, for though the rich may 
pity the poor, none but the poor can sympathise 
with them, because none other can know their 
wants and feelings. 

I have already said, that the Wallacks belong 
to the Greek church ; and in accordance with its 
rules, the lower order of the clergy, or the parish- 
priests, are allowed to marry, though the monks 


and the higher dignitaries are condemned to celi- 
bacy. One effect which results from the strict ad- 
herence to the letter of the Gospel in this matter, 
is to make the priest's wife the happiest woman in 
the parish ; for as he can be but " the husband of 
one wife," he takes the greatest possible care not to 
lose her, and in consequence pays a heavy tax in 
the indulgence of whims and humours, an opposi- 
tion to which might endanger his partner's safety 
and condemn him to a state of single misery. The 
education of a Wallack priest is 

and I have known cases in which the common pea- 
wntfeMibeenjOTiMned_mOTelj on paying the stipu- ^ 
Jatedjmm_Jto^ If we may believe the j 

Hungarian nobles, the Wallack priest is charac- 
terized by cunning malice, which he employs to 
maintain his power over the peasant, to enrich 
himself, and to foment discord between landlord 
and tenant. The fasts and feasts of the Greek 
church, which extend to nearly one-third of the 
year, and during which the peasant is strictly for- 
bidden to labour for his worldly profit, the priest 
adroitly avails himself of, by assuring him that he 
may labour in God's service ; which, being liberally 
interpreted, means his priest's, and so the lazy and 
superstitious Wallack, who will scarcely move a 
limb for his own support, willingly wastes the sweat 
of his brow in tilling the Popas glebe on feast days, 
and thus earns his soul's salvation. 

The prelates of the Greek church, and the priests 


officiating in large towns, receive a better educa- 
tion than those of the villages ; and, in appearance 
at least, have an air of greater intelligence and 
respectability. The dress of the higher class of 
priests is the same as that so common in Greece 
and Turkey, a long black cloak reaching to the 
feet, which, with the beard and black locks flowing 
over the shoulders, are often so arranged as to show 
no small portion of earthly vanity. I am not fond 
f of priests generally, they are apt to have sly fat 
\ minds, but I took a positive dislike to these fel- \ u 
I lows, when I saw the looks they^directed at the ' 
\ beautiful half-naked WaUack girls, who always 
stoop down to kiss the Popa's hand whenever they/ 
I pass him. 

As political agents and spies of the Russian ^ 
court, the Wallack priests are said to be made Q r 0^ 
much use of, and I am fully inclined to believe ^ ( 
it ; for they regard the Archbishop of Moscow as o VM 
their mjinate, and the Emperor of Russia as the ^ 
head of their church .j The ritual of the Greek /o 
church in Hungary, contains a prayer for the Em- 
peror and King, such is the title of the sovereign 
of Austria, and Hungary, the last part only of 
which the Wallacks however apply to their own 
monarch, the first being reserved for the Emperor 
of Russia. This account I have heard, not only of 
the Wallacks, but also of the Croatians and Scla- 
vonians, among whom the Greek faith is equally 
predominant, and where the influence of Russia is 


still farther strengthened by analogy of language. 
A few years ago, when Austria was supposed to be 
a little opposed to the aggressive strides of Russia, 
a Wallack almanack, printed at Bucharest, and ex- 
tensively circulated in Transylvania, openly called 
upon the Wallack s of that country to wrest the 
power from the Hungarian usurpers, and boldly 
assert their own right to the land of their fathers. 
It is not, therefore, without reason that Austria has 
feared this foreign influence in the heart of her 
dominions, nor without reason that she has en- 
deavoured to counteract it. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, instead of acting in a frank and liberal spirit 
equalizing all religions, removing causes of discon- 
tent, and undermining the influence of ignorance by 
the diffusion of knowledge, the spirit of Jesuitical 
propagandism has been let loose on the country, 
and that feeling of bitter hatred has in consequence 
been engendered, which anything like persecution 
is always sure to beget. 

The plan of Government was to form a Catholic 
Greek, or united Greek church, as it is called, that 
is, a church in almost all doctrinal and essential 
points like the original Greek, but acknowledging 
the Roman Pontiff as its head. The marriage of 
priests and the use of the vernacular tongue in the 
services of the church were yielded by the politic 
conclave of the Vatican. The temporal powers were 
not behindhand in concessions. The members of 
the Greek church, in Transylvania, had hitherto 


been excluded from a share in the Government; 
the Conformists were offered a full participation, 
not only in the rights but in the favours also, 
which are showered on the Catholics. By dint 
of such means, and others somewhat less justifi- 
able, the scheme succeeded to a certain extent, 
the priest received solid reasons for his compliance 
with the new doctrines, and sometimes brought 
over his flock to obedience. In other cases, 
especially in the valley of Hatszeg, the people 
refused to change their religion in spite of the 
priest's apostasy, and declined his offices, while the 
Government, on the other hand, refused to allow 
any other to officiate, so that instances have been 
mentioned to me of villages in which, for thirty 
years, no Christian ceremony, or sacrament, had 
been performed. Men had been born, married* 
and had died unchristened, unblessed, unshrived. 
It is only those who know the sacred character 
with which the superstitious Wallack clothes his 
priest, and the importance he attaches to the sa- 
craments of his church, who can appreciate the 
strength of the feeling which induced him to resist 
the one, or the cruelty which has been practised 
in depriving him of the other. 

Statistical works on Transylvania are very much 
rarer than on Hungary, and even those which exist 
are of less authority ; so that it is difficult to say, 
with accuracy, what the proportion of the Wallacks 
to the rest of the inhabitants is, or to state the 



relative numbers belonging to the Greek and the 
united Greek churches. According to the best 
authority I can command at present, the Wallacks 
amount to about eight hundred and fifty thousand. 
Now the " Schematisms " * of the united Greek 
church of 1835, gives the number of souls pro- 
fessing that creed, at five hundred and fifty-one 
thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine, so that if 
conscientiously correct (which I doubt) it would 
give the majority very much in their favour. The 
clergy as well as the people of this belief enjoy all 
the privileges of Catholics, and their bishop has a 
seat in the chamber. According to the work just 
quoted, they have at Balasfalva a Lyceum, Gym- 
nasium, and Normal School, with an abundant 
array of professors in theology and philosophy. 

As far as I am aware, the members of the pure 
Greek church of Transylvania have no place of 
education for their priesthood, although in Hungary, 
where they amount to a million and a half, they 
have a college at Karlowitz, which generally con- 
tains about fifty theological students, besides schools, 
in Neusatz, Miskolcz, and Temesvar. Notwith- 
standing this, even in Hungary, and still more in 
Transylvania, the common Wallack priest has for 
the most part no better education than the village 

* Schematismus venerabilis Cleri Grseci Ritus Catholicorum 
Dioeceseos Frogarasiensis, in Transylvania, pro anno a Christo 
nato 1835, ab unione cum Ecclesia Romana 138. Blasii, typis 
Seminarii Dioecesani. 



school has afforded, and no more learning than is 
just sufficient to get through the services of the 

In rambling over the scattered village of Varhely 
in search of traces of former times, we had ample 
opportunities of observing the state of its present 
occupants. The houses of the Wallacks are as 
simple as possible. They generally consist of only 
one small room, in which old and young, men and 
women, are indiscriminately mixed, and not unfre- 
quently too the pigs and fowls come in for their 
share of the accommodation. The material of the 
building is usually the unhewn stems of trees lined 

inside with mud, and covered with a very high roof, 
composed of straw, thrown carelessly on, and fre- 
quently retained in its place by branches of trees 


hung across it. I need not point out to the^jeader 
the difference between this hovel and the many- 
chambered dwelling of the Magyar, the white walls 
and careful thatch of which wouI3 do honour to a \ 
cottage orne of the Isle of Wight.; Under the over- 
hanging roof are laid out in summer the beds of 
the whole family, sometimes shaded by a decent 
curtain ; and before the door is generally that semi- 
fluid mass yclept a puddle, where the pigs and 
children indulge in their siesta. As we passed one 
door, a group of urchins were quarrelling with their 
unclean companions for the enjoyment of a large 
melon, which was fast disappearing in the struggle, 
while an old woman sat listlessly watching the 
strife. I shall not easily forget the figure this 
woman presented. With no sort of covering save 
the linen shift, which was open as low as the waist, 
its whiteness strangely contrasting with the colour 
of the body it should have concealed, the blear 
eye and vacant gaze of extreme age, the clotted 
masses of hair bound with a narrow fillet round 
the head, the fleshless legs, and the Ipngpendulous^ f. 
breasts exposed without any idea of shame, pre- 

sented^ a picture, the horrors of which I have/ 

And to such a state- is 

the Wallack woman, so beautiful in the freshness 
of youth, reduced before she has arrived at 
what we should call a middle age. This is as 
much owing to hard labour, as to bad nourish- 
ment and exposure to the sun. The very early 


marriages, too, common among the Wallacks, aid 

^> I 

^ this premature decline. Gjrls^ frequently marry ( 
sat thirteen or fourteen, and the men rarely later ( 

Tbanjjighteen^ I remember Baron B coming 

in laughing one day at a request which a boy of 
fourteen had just made to be allowed to marry, 
a request to which he had of course not assented. 
If a peasant is asked what he wants a wife for, 
he usually answers to comb him and keep him clean. 
The Wallack woman is never by any chance seen 
idle. As she returns from market it is her breast 
that is bulged out with the purchases of the day ;* 
it is her head that bears the water from the village 
well ; she dyes the wool or flax, spins the thread, 
weaves the web, and makes the dresses of her 
family. In harvest she joins the men in cutting the 
corn, and though less strong, she is more active and 
willing at the task. She uses the spindle and 
distaff as the princesses of Homer did, and as 
they are still used in the Campagna of Rome, and 
they are scarcely ever out of her hand. You may 
see her at the market suckling her child, higgling 
for her eggs and butter, and twirling her spindle at 
the same time, with a dexterity really astonishing, 
far as ^leanjjjiessjgpes, however, she is a^J>aj_L 

* Nothing can be more ludicrous than the appearance these f 
women sometimes present. The front of the chemise is always / 
open, and, among other purposes, serves that of a pocket. A j 
woman coming from market often fills it with cabbages, meat, j 
and perhaps a dozen other articles, thus forming altogether a most j 
astounding protuberance. 



^housewife ; nor does her labour produce great 

effects. Among the German settlers it is a proverb, 
"to be as busy as a Wallack woman, and do as 
little." The dress, which I have already described,, 
is with some variations everywhere the same. The 
apron has sometimes little or no fringe, and at 
other times is little else than fringe. In winter 

.. -- 

they commonly wear the same thick pantaloons as 
the men, cover themselves with a guba, or pelz- 
rockel, and wrap up the feet in cloth sandals. One 
of the figures in the sketch above, is that of a young 
girl about sixteen, in full costume, and rather 
tidily dressed. Her chemise was embroidered with 
blue at the sleeves and neck ; her fringed aprons, 


of green and red, were bound round the waist by 
a woollen belt, but the pride of her costume was 
the richly embroidered sheep-skin jacket. The hair 
was rather curiously arranged; it was parted 
at the side and plaited, one plait hanging behind, 
while the other was brought coquettishly across the 
forehead. It is wonderful what variety one sees in 
this particular, every village seems to have its 

The pattern of the aprons, in which greens and 
reds, blues arid blacks, are the most common colours, 
reminded me very strongly of the Scotch plaid, 
especially at the borders, where the colours often 
cross and form the exact tartan patterns : but I 
was still more struck when I observed the well- 
known shepherd's plaid, the common black and 
white check. I bought one piece of this kind, and 
Scotchmen to whom I have shown it, at once claimed 
it as their own. It is generally of very coarse 
texture, being spun from the long wool of the com- 
mon sheep, and is loosely woven. The dyes which 
the Wallacks manage to give their cloths, are cele- 
brated for their brilliancy and durability. The 
mention of Scotch plaids reminds me that I have 
seen some author, I think Herodotus, quoted as an 
authority, that the Agathyrsse, said to have been 
the ancient inhabitants of Dacia, owned the same 
origin as the Picts of Scotland. Without entering 
into such a knotty discussion, I merely throw out 
for the consideration of Gaelic antiquaries the facts, 


that the Wallacks wear the tartan, that the Wal- 
lacks love the bagpipe, and that the Wallacks 
drink an inordinate quantity of sliwowitz, alias 
mountain dew, the which I hold to be strong 
marks of similarity of taste, if not of identity of 

In appearance, the common Wallack presents a 
decided difference from either Magyar, Sclave, or 
German. In height, I should say, that he was below 
the medium, and generally rather jl|ghtlyj)uilt_^nd 
thin. His features are often fine, the nose arched, 
the eyes dark, the hair long, black, and wavy, but 
the expression too often one of fear and cunning 
to be agreeable. ] I seldom remember to have seen 
among them the dull heavy look of the Sclavack, 
but still more rarely the proud self-respecting 
carriage of the Magyar. Seventeen hundred years' 
subjection has done its work; and I can readily 
believe that many of the vices attributed to the 
Wallacks are possessed by them, for they are the 
vices of slaves. They are not, however, without 
their redeeming qualities. 

In examining the characteristics of the Wallack, 
if I appear somewhat as his apologist, it is because 
I did not find him so bad as he was described to 
me, and because it is natural to interest oneself 
rather in defending the weak than in strengthening 
the strong. 

The Wallack is generally considered treactu 

/ revengeful, and entirely deficient in gratitude. If 


once insulted, be is said to carry the recollection of 
it till opportunity favours his weakness and enables 
him to accomplish his revenge. This is rather his 
misfortune than his fault. If stronger, like other 
people, he would revenge himself without waiting. 
/ Cowardice is another fault very commonly attri- 

/buted to the Wallack. I remember Count S 

saying, he believed every other European, except 
the Neapolitan and Wallack, might be made to fight. 
It is certain that nothing depresses the courage so 
surely as subjection, and so long a period of it as 
these people have endured cannot have been with- 
out effect ; yet the Wallack peasant is a bold and 
successful smuggler^ and no one is more ready to 
attack a wolf or bear ; but it is hard to persuade 
any, except very stupid men, to fight without a 
better object than that of adding to the glory of 
those they do not love. A long succession of ill 
treatment has rendered them timid and suspicious. 
A few years ago, a German Count settled among 
the Wallacks, and with tfye kindest intentions 
endeavoured to excite them to industry by giving 
rewards to those who best cultivated their land. 
For this purpose, all the peasants of the village 
were assembled together with due solemnity, but 
no sooner did their seigneur appear among them 
than the whole assemblage, as though seized with 
a panic, started off, and could never be got together 
again. They were firmly persuaded that some trick 
was to be played upon them ; as for any one doing 


them a service for their own sakes, experience 
had not taught them to think such a thing possible. 
The treatment of the peasantry, however, improves 
every year with the improved knowledge of their 
masters. I knew an old Countess in Transyl- 
vania who used to lament that "times were sadly 
changed, peasants were no longer so respectful as 
they used to be ;" she could remember walking 
to church on the backs of the peasants who knelt 
down in the mud to allow her to pass over them 
without soiling her shoes. She could also remem- 
ber, though less partial to the recollection, a rising 
of the peasantry, when nothing but the kindness 
with which her mother had generally treated them, 
saved her from the cruel death which many of her 
neighbours met with. 

The Magyar peasant holds the Wallacks in the 
most sovereign contempt. He calls them a " people 
who let their shirts hang out" from the manner 
in which they wear that article of clothing over 
the lower part of their dress ; and classes them 
with Jews and jGJEsies.] Even~wfien living in tluP 
same village, the Magyar never intermarries with/' 

That the Wallack is idle and drunken it would) 


very difficult to deny.) Even in the midst of 
harvest you will see him lying in the sun sleep- 
ing all the more comfortably because he knows 
lie ought to be working. His corn is always the 
last cut, and it is very often left to shell on 


the ground for want of timely gathering; yet 
scarcely a winter passes that he is not starving 
with hunger. If he has a waggon to drive, he 
is generally found asleep at the bottom of it; if 
he has a message to carry, ten to one but he gets 
drunk on the way, and sleeps over the time in 
which it should be executed. But if it be diffi- 
cult to deny these faults, it is easy to find a 
palliation for them. The half-forced labour with 
which the Hungarian peasants pay their rent, has 
the natural tendency to produce not only a dis- 
position, but a determination to do as little as 
possible in any given time. Add to this, that 
at least a third of the year is occupied by feasts 
and fasts, when, by their religion, labour is for- 
bidden them ; that the double tithes of the church 
and landlord check improvement ; that the injustice 
with which they have been treated has destroyed 
all confidence in justice, and every sentiment o 
security; and it will not then be difficult to 
guess why they are idle. The weakness of body 
induced by bad nourishment, and still more by 
the fasts of the Greek church, which are main- 
tained with an austerity of which Catholicism 
has no idea, and which often reduces them to 
the last degree of debility, and sometimes even 
causes death, is another very efficient cause. I 
have often heard this alluded to by land-owners, 
who have declared, that with the best will the 
Wallack could not perform the same amount 

7) *- LL o/ii/^/viof A i E>*rvi r/u rr~ t n 


of labour as the well-fed German or Magyar. 
An English labourer, of that sturdy independent 
caste which is not yet, thank God, extinct among 
us, observed to his travelled master who was tell- 
ing him with how much less food the poor on 
the Continent were contented, " Look ye, sir, 
them foreign chaps may eat and drink less than 
we do, but I'll warrant they work less too. Them 
as does not live well, can't work well." Never 
did philosophy utter a more certain truth. 

Another cause for laziness may be found in 
the paucity of the Wallaces wants, and in the 
ease with which they are supplied. The earth, 
almost spontaneously, affords him maize for his 
polenta, or mamaliga, as he calls it, and his wife 
manufactures from the wool and hemp of his little 
farm all that is required for his household use and 
personal clothing. 

Many Hungarians, I know, hold that it would 
be impossible to cultivate, were rents substituted 
for Robot, especially where the peasantry are Wai- 
lacks ; but only let commerce open a fair market 
and introduce desirable objects of purchase, and the 
Wallack will scarcely belie principles of which all 
ages and nations have proved the truth. There 
is no want of enterprise among them, for nothing 
pleases them more than a little commercial specu- 
lation. Should a peculiarly fine season have sent 
a better crop than usual, the Wallack will load his 
little waggon, harness his oxen, provide himself 



with his maize loaf and bit of bacon, and set off for 
some distant market where he thinks he can turn 
his produce to account. It is true, he sleeps on the 
top of his load the whole way, perhaps he drinks 
a good part of the money before he gets back, pro- 
bably a Jew cheats him out of the rest of it in 
exchange for some worthless trinkets for his wife, 
still the spirit of commercial enterprise is there, 
little as its benefits are felt. 

When the new road was cutting between Orsova 
and Moldova, there was no difficulty in finding 
Wallack workmen at eightpence per day, though 
they were employed at a labour to which they were 
unaccustomed, which prevented them from return- 
ing to their houses, obliged their wives to bring 
them food from a great distance, and exposed them 
to many inconveniences attendant on the nature of 
the undertaking. Regular payment has great at- 
tractions; and, if successful in one case, there is 
every reason to believe it would be so in others 
where the circumstances are still more favourable. 

When I hear the Wallack peasant accused of 
want of gratitude, I am apt to lose patience, for 
he has had so very little opportunity of indulging 
in that feeling, that it is rather the fault of his 
^.oppressors than of himself, if it be totally eradi- 
/ cated from his nature. But I question the fact : 
in some cases, his conduct bears the appearance 
of ingratitude, merely because he suspects the 
\ motive with which a benefit is conferred ; but 

-^ '. t *> _ ^- 



when understood, it is felt and acknowledged. An 
intimate friend of mine, who, during the prevalence 
of the cholera which raged so fearfully in Transyl- 
vania in 1836, remained in his village, and who, 
aided by his lady, rendered every assistance which 
it was possible, both by medicine and personal ad- 
vice, to the poor around him, had occasion, after 
the cessation of the disease, and at the commence- 
ment of harvest to leave home for a short time. 
He hastened back, anxious to provide for the exi- 
gencies of the season, which require the greatest 
exertions on the part of the master in this coun- 
try, and on his arrival he was astonished to find 
everything finished. The peasants had collected 
together of their own accord, and agreed to join 
their labour, cut his corn, and get in his harvest 
before he came back, to show their gratitude for 
his kindness to them in the hour of need. 

Ignorant as the Wallack peasant may be, he can 
distinguish between the man who merely wishes to 
benefit him and the man who really does so. Every 
landlord knows, that to gain his Wallack peasants' 
hearts, it is only necessary that he should look 
in upon their feasts, and accept their invitations 
to marriages and funerals ; in short, it is only 
necessary that he should appear to be interested 
in what really interests them, and he is certain 
of their love. 

The intractable obstinacy, which is often charged 
against these people because they refuse instruc- 


tion and decline well-meant but injudicious efforts 
to improve them, often arises from the affection 
they entertain for their national language and 
religion, and from the fear that such means are 
employed only to rob them of these their only trea- 
sures. A gentleman, who was desirous of improv- 
ing his peasantry, established a school, appointed 
and paid a master, and ordered that all the children u*\ m > 
should attend. His chief object was to teach the 
Magyar language, an object very desirable, and one 
which, by judicious management, might be effected J-Q j 
in time; but, unfortunately, in the present instance, OF f- t 
this was the first thing begun with. On revisiting _. , 
his estate, after half a year's absence, he found his r,/\\f 
school-room entirely deserted, and the schoolmaster "^ , 
declaring that he could get no one to come to him. 
On remonstrating with them, the peasants, with that y. 
stupid air which the countryman can assume so well ^ " 
when he wishes to conceal his cunning, answered, ~? ; 
that they were afraid their children might become JUS'l 
wiser than themselves, and cease to obey them. In <5< F 
all probability, the priest had become alarmed, ex- ^ " 
cited the fears of his flock, and forbidden them the ^ t 

L I A 

school. A little prudence, personal attention, and 
foresight, would easily overcome such obstacles. '^ ' 

One of the Wallack's most prominent virtues is, 
his love for his parents, and his respect and care for 
them in their old age. They would consider it a 
disgrace to allow any one else to support their aged 
and poor, while they could do it themselves ; and I 


certainly do not remember to have seen any beggars 
among them. The idiot is here, as with all the pea- 
sants of Hungary, considered a privileged person, and 
is allowed to make himself at home in every cottage. 

There is among the Wallacks, a peculiar tenacity 
to localities, which, besides having maintained them 
in this land, where Romans, Goths, Vandals, and 
Huns, in vain tried to gain a permanent footing, 
still attaches them, notwithstanding the injuries and 
injustice to which they are exposed, so forcibly to 
their native villages, that if a possibility of exist- 
ence remains, they rarely quit them. This tenacity 
is an important fact, and ought to make the Mag- 
yars very cautious how they attempt to force prema- 
turely any reform in language, religion, or customs, 
onjsuch a people. They may, perhaps, be led, no 
one yet has been able to drive them. Rude as he 
is, the Wai lack feels deeply ; he loves the land his 
fathers tilled, the house his fathers lived in, the 
soil where their bones have found a resting-place. 
Such sentiments may sometimes interfere with the 
schemes of the improver, or the profits of the spe- 
culator ; but, utilitarian as I am, I should be sorry 
to see this stuff of the heart bartered for such gains 
as theirs : I hate the pseudo-philosophy which can- 
not appreciate the utility of sentiment and beauty. 

United to a very strong religious feeling, which 
they manifest sufficiently by the exertions they 
make to obtain suitable places of worship, they 
possess a mass of superstition which mixes itself 


up with every action of their lives. Many of their 
beliefs and superstitious observances strongly re- 
semble those of some other nations ; whether from 
direct communication, or because similarity of cir- 
cumstances produces similarity of ideas, I leave 
others to decide. The notion of hidden treasures 
being concealed under old castles, in tombs, and 
such like places, is very common ; and, as in Tartary 
and Circassia, the peasants here believe them to be 
guarded by some evil spirit. In the old castle of 
Gyalu, formerly a fortress of Rakotzy, now ren- 
dered a very agreeable residence by Count Banffy, 
it has always been said that the treasures of that 
unfortunate prince were buried. A few years since, 
some of the servants obtained permission to dig 
under the great gateway, where rumour located 
the hidden wealth, and to search for it, and they 
proceeded accordingly with their task ; but on the 
second day, or rather night, for they worked in 
darkness, something so mysterious and horrible 
took place, that one of the men died of fright 
soon after, and the others begged permission to 
be sent away, though nothing could ever draw 
from them the cause of their alarm, or induce them 
to recommence their search. 

Like the Turks, the Wai lacks ornament their 
burial places by planting a tree at the head and 
another at the foot of every grave ; but, instead of 
the funereal cypress, they plant the swetschen or 
plum, from which they make their brandy, a very 



literal illustration " of seeking consolation from the 
tomb." For the death of near relations, they mourn 
by going bare-headed for a certain time ; a severe 
test of sincerity in a country where the excesses of 
heat and cold are so great as here. 

The village-well is still, all over Hungary, the 
favourite gossiping spot for matrons and maids. 
There is a custom which I often noticed among the 
Wallacks, of throwing over a small quantity of the 
water from the full pitcher before it is carried 
away. It appears that this is done to appease the 
spirit of the well, who might otherwise make her 
pure draught an evil-bearing potion. Has this not 
some analogy to the Roman libations to their gods ? 
The analogy, if it be one, is strengthened by the 
classically formed earthen vessels which the Wal- 
lacks commonly use, and which are often exceed- 
ingly elegant. 

The only occupation in which the Wallack shows 
any peculiar talent, is that of a carpenter ; here, I 
believe, he is allowed to excel. His house frequently 
bears proof of his taste in this particular in the 
wooden ornaments about the gates, windows, and 
roof; and it is rarely the church and cross are not 
adorned with the rude carvings of the Wallack's 
knife. Domestic manufactures, too, assume an im- 
portance unknown amongst more civilized people. 
The Wallack grows his own flax, his wife spins it 
into yarn, weaves it into cloth, dyes it of various 
colours, cuts it out, and works it up into clothes for 



her family. The wool goes through nearly the same 
processes ; and is made to serve for leg- wrap- 
pings, aprons, jackets, and cloaks. The sheepskin 
cap and sandals are mostly of home fabrication, 
so that this ignorant peasant has more knowledge 
of the ways and means of procuring for himself 
what is necessary for his existence and happiness 
than half the wise men of Europe : that he should 
not, however, be a perfect master of so many trades 
is scarely wonderful. 

Varhely contains some sad specimens of essays 
in the millwright's art. Along the brook, which 
bounds one side of the village, we observed a num- 
ber of small wooden buildings placed across the 
stream, and rising considerably above its surface. 
One of these boxes, about eight feet square, we 
entered, and found it a very primitive mill, man- 
aged by two girls. The wheel was horizontal, and 
placed in the middle of the stream, and below the 
mill ; the water falling about one foot on the some- 
what spoonshaped paddles. I do not know whether 
the reader ever noticed the wheel in a patent 
chimney-top, because the idea might have been 
borrowed from a Varhely mill, so similar are they 
in form. 

The chief amusement of the Wallacks, after 
sleeping and smoking, is dancing to the bagpipe 
or fiddle. On the Sunday evening, a dozen men 
will collect together, and, joining arms, dance in 
a circle, alternately advancing and retiring, beating 

L 2 


time with the feet, clapping the hands, and singing. 
The women in the mean time stand round, waiting 
till one or more of the men start out from the 
circle, seize their fair prey, whirl her round for 
some time in a rude waltz, and then, leaving her, 
return to the circle, dance again the same round, 
and again, as the fancy seizes, choose another fair 
one for the waltz. 

The Wallack is a most resolute keeper of feasts, 
and he very often at these times contracts debts, 
which are always scrupulously paid, to enable 
him to entertain with becoming honour his friends 
of the neighbouring villages. On such occasions, 
oxen and sheep are roasted whole ; wine and brandy 
flow in rivulets ; the seigneur is invited in the good 
old fashion to come and sanction by his presence his 
peasants' sports ; and for three whole days a scene 
of wild revelry, which often ends a little a Vlrland- 
aise, is kept up, with a vigour of which one would 
scarcely have believed them capable. 

The Wallacks, especially those of this neigh- 
bourhood, have a custom of which I never heard 
elsewhere. A party of idle young fellows sell them- 
selves, as they say, to the devil, for a term of three, 
five, or seven years, the number must be unequal, 
or the devil will not hold the bargain, engaging to 
dance without ceasing during the whole of that 
period, except when they sleep ; in consideration of 
which, they expect their infernal purchaser will 
supply them with food and wine liberally, and 


render them irresistible among the rustic belles. 
Accordingly, dressed in their gayest attire, these 
merry vagabonds start out from their native village, 
and literally dance through the country. Every- 
where they are received with open arms ; the men 
glad of an excuse for jollity, the women anxious, 
perhaps, to .prove their power, all unite to feed and 
fte the devil's dancers ; so that it is scarcely won- 
derful there should be willing slaves to so merry 
a servitude. When their time is up, they return 
home and become quiet peasants for the rest of 
their lives. 

We had now spent two or three days at Varhely, 
and it was quite time we should relieve the hospita- 
ble family who had received us from the burthen 
of our visit. When we found it so late on the 
second day, that we could scarcely get to the next 
place before dark hour, I desired the servant to inti- 
mate our wish to trespass on them for another night. 
A smile lit up the old lady's countenance as she came 
in, and assured us as eloquently as words which we 
did not understand, and looks that we did, could 
do, that we were welcome to stay as long as we 
pleased. It was a constant cause of regret to us 
that we could only communicate with these good 
people through the servant, for they frequently 
came and sat with us; and indeed the pretty 
little daughter was generally at work in our apart- 
ment the whole afternoon. Though frugal, our fare 
had been good ; and our supper of this evening 


may serve as a sample. First, came on a paprika 
hendel, not a stewed fowl with red pepper, such 
as is often served up at more polished tables, 
but a large tureen of rich greasy soup, red with 
paprika, and flavoured by a couple of fowls cut 
up and swimming in it. After this, came a dish 
made of broken barley and milk, forming a thickish 
paste, and, though not tempting in appearance, very 
good. Some remarkably fine potatoes, boiled in 
their jackets, and some fresh butter, followed by a 
dessert of plums, apples, pears, and grapes, con- 
cluded the meal. Meat we had only once, for in 
these small villages where no rich proprietor lives, 
butcher's meat cannot always be obtained. Wine 
or beer, as I have said, they had absolutely none ; 
and, but for the thoughtfulness of the lady of the 
Mosaic, we should have been condemned to water. 

Here, as well as in other parts of Transylvania, 
we enjoyed the luxury of buffalo's cream with our 
coffee. Paris must hide her head for very shame, 
she has no idea of the luxury of true cafe a la 
creme. In the first place, the buffalo's milk is 
much richer than that of the cow, and then the 
method of preparing it here is perfect. Over-night, 
a little three-legged earthen pot, a labos, is placed 
over a very slow fire, and, as the cream rises to the 
surface and clots, it is gently moved on one side 
with a spoon to allow more to rise on the vacant 
space. This is placed aside, and the next morning 
is boiled for use ; of course, the clot is the best 


part, and a good house-wife divides it out with 
great exactness. Buffaloes, rarely seen in Hungary, 
are exceedingly common here, and their slow move- 
ments seem to suit the Wallack precisely. Their 
power is reckoned equal to that of twice as many 
oxen, but their pace is only half as fast. In hot 
weather, the sight of water renders them beyond 
all control, and many amusing tales are told of car- 
riages lodged in the middle of rivers, spite of driver, 
whip, or goad. When excited, the fury of the 
buffalo is said to be terrific, he tramples to death 
the object of his rage, and a year rarely happens in 
which some peasants do not fall victims to these 
shapeless monsters. 

During our sojourn at Varhely, we observed a 
deficiency of what is considered, in every other part 
of Europe, the most necessary article of bedroom 
furniture, and for which it was rather perplexing 
to find a substitute. It is odd enough, that among 
the old-fashioned and primitive of the Transylva- 
nians, an idea of shame is attached to the employ- 
ment of such articles within the precincts of the 
buildings they inhabit. This might be accounted 
for by the circumstance that the bedrooms were 
always formerly, and even still are among the 
less wealthy, used as sitting-rooms; but it would 
appear that it springs from a deeper feeling, for 
the Magyars have a_sense^o cleajiliness__.and of 
decency connected with such matters which the 
traveller will search for in vain over the rest 


(of continental Europe, and which even we should 
(consider hyperdelicate. None baveinorejreju- 

;4ices, ifsuch theycan be ^alled,_on matters of 
decency, than the^jlu^^ixian^^easants.| I Certain 
duties, which the delicate English house-maid does 
not consider below her, the Magyar girl cannot be 
brought to perform ; so that in many houses, where 
what the old people call dirtv_German customs are 
introduced for everything a greybeard thinks dirty 
or immoral he calls German, a gipsy girl is kept 
expressly to execute the duties necessarily arising 
therefrom. This poor creature, in consequence, is 
regarded as unclean by the rest of the servants. 

From the evidently straitened circumstances of 
this family, we were anxious in some way to repay 
them for the trouble we had given them, and 
the servant said he thought it would be most 
acceptable in money. They received what we 
offered without shame or pretended hesitation. I 
was not less pleased with this, than with the kind- 
ness and courtesy of their whole conduct towards 
us. At first, when asked for a night's lodging, they 
would not hear of anything in the way of remune- 
ration ; but when we had stayed some days with 
them, and had put them to considerable expense, 
and when they saw that we were rich enough to 
pay, they then no longer hesitated to receive it. 




Valley of Hatszeg. Wallack Gallantry. Transylvanian Travel- 
ling. Arrival at Vayda Hunyad. The Gipsy Girl. Hun- 
yadi Janos. Castle of Hunyad. The painted Tower. A 
Deputation. A Rogue found out. Deva. Valley of the 

Maros. H taken for a Spy. Visit to the Mines of Nagy 

Ag. Politeness from a Stranger. Transylvanian Post-office. 
Sandstone of the Felek. 

IT was on a cloudy wet day that we turned our 
backs on Varhely, so that although we crossed the 
entire valley, or rather plain of Hatszeg, we saw 
but little of its beauty ; occasionally a bright sun- 
beam burst out, and gave us a glimpse of its glories, 
but it passed too soon to allow us to appreciate or 
enjoy them. We had been warned that the roads 
in this neighbourhood were bad, but we found them 
worse even than we had expected, and yet this is 
the shortest and most direct route from Transyl- 
vania to the Danube. From the state, however, 
in which the road is kept, often so as to be dan- 
gerous, and at times even impassable, the one by 


Deva and Lugos, though much longer, is used in 

It must be very bad weather indeed which the 
traveller, in a new country, cannot turn to account 
if he will ; in the present instance the wet muddy 
road afforded us an opportunity of witnessing a 
striking example of Wallack gallantry and Wai- 
lack modesty. A stout peasant, wrapped up in his 
guba of thick white cloth, was riding very com- 
posedly through the wet, for it could not hurt him, 
while his wife was trotting in the mud by his side, 
her clothes proh pudor ! gathered up to her hips 
to keep them out of the dirt. This mode of dis- 
posing of their dress is exceedingly common among 
the Wallack women, and it is not without some 
astonishment that the stranger sees half a dozen 
of them prepare in this manner to cross a brook, 
which they do without the least feeling of shame. 

The town of Hatszeg had no attractions to detain 
us, and we started next morning for Hunyad, 1 which 
we were assured we should reach in two hours. 
The first part of the road was bad, and we began 
to doubt if we should arrive so soon as we ex- 
pected. The horses and driver we had engaged 
from the neighbourhood of Karansebes, to take us 
as far as we required for in this part of Tran- 
sylvania, the peasantry are so poor that they have 
few horses, and use either oxen or buffaloes for agri- 
cultural purposes were evidently unequal to the 
task. I wished much to persuade our coachman 


to let me take a relay of oxen, but he declared his 
horses were capable of anything, and would not 
hear of help. The first hill beyond Hatszeg occu- 
pied us an hour, for the road was nothing more 
than soft tenacious clay, good enough perhaps in 
dry weather, but now almost impassable. Fortu- 
nately we were not without cause for consolation ; 
for on getting out of the carriage to walk, and look- 
ing back, our eyes fell on such a scene as I do not 
think the world can equal in loveliness. The plain 
from Varhely to Hatszeg, yellow with the over-ripe 
maize, traversed by half a dozen streams, broken by 
low hills, and sprinkled over with cottages and 
country-houses, lay stretched out at our feet, its 
mountain boundaries rising through the clouds, 
which hung on their sides, and disclosing their 
summits, whitened by the first fall of the autumn 
snow, and all heightened by the magic lights and 
shades of a fitful sky, formed a picture of most 
exquisite beauty. 

The first hill conquered, we descended to the 
village of Szilvas, a collection of poor huts, appa- 
rently shut out from the world by the hills which 
surround it on every side. Up the steepest of these 
hills our road now lay. In vain the horses exerted 
themselves, they were quite tired out. As we 

passed through the village, S had observed 

some oxen in a yard, and for these we now sent. 
But their Wallack owner saw our need, and would 
only let us have them on paying an exorbitant sum, 


and that, too, before they left his yard. There was 
no help; the money was paid, and the four oxen 
were harnessed to the four horses. These beasts, 
however, seemed to know the place, and most re- 
solutely declined drawing in the right direction, and 
not all the flogging and pushing of the drivers could 
prevent them from dragging us back into the 
village. The peasant, however, was as cunning 
as the oxen, and he determined to deceive them 
by going another way, and, by crossing the ploughed 
fields, escape that part of the road. So far all 
went well; but we again reached the road, and 
now both horses and oxen stood stock still ; they 
seemed to have come to a mutual agreement to 
draw no further. As for flogging and shouting, there 
was no lack of either, for there were five of us, 
and we all united voices and hands in the labour. 
The beasts only kicked. Again we sent off for aid, 
and comforted ourselves in the mean time with the 
spare fare some hard-boiled eggs and well garlicked 
salami which our prog-basket afforded. After 
about an hour's waiting without any appearance 
of the arrival of fresh relay travelling in Tran- 
sylvania demandeth much patience a merry-looking 
fellow, with a strong arm and long whip, came 
singing by, and inquired the reason of our untimely 
halt. No sooner did he hear that want of power, 
not want of will, detained us, than angry, apparently 
at the unreasonable conduct of the cattle with 
whom I am by no means sure he had not, like the 


Irish whisperer, some secret intelligence he gave 
a few such persuading flourishes of his long whip, 
that off set both oxen and horses, nor did they 
stop their gallop till they reached the top of the 

While we waited there for the servant's return 
we had leisure to enjoy the extensive panorama 
spread out before us plains, valleys, rivers, and 
wooded mountains, backed by still higher moun- 
tains rising over each other, as far as the eye could 
reach. The valleys of Hatszeg and Hunyad, the 
plain before Varhely, the hill of Deva, with its 
ruined castle, lay all before us ; beyond them 
stretched out the Iron-Door Pass, the often-men- 
tioned mountains of Wallachia, and the gold bear- 
ing peaks round Szalatna. We could plainly per- 
ceive too the course of the river Strehl, now formed 
into a respectable stream by the union of the many 
brooks of the valley of Hatszeg, and which had cut 
itself a passage through the rocks to the Maros. It 
is in this direction that the road between Hatszeg 
and Deva ought to pass. I feel convinced that the 
Roman road took this course, and as soon as ever 
this part of Transylvania receives its fair share of 
attention,- it is now by far the most uncultivated 
and savage, a great commercial road will un- 
doubtedly unite, in this direction, Transylvania with 
the Danube. 

Before we reached Hunyad, H , who had 

been left at Varhely in hopes of getting some 


views of the valley, which, however, the cloudy 
weather prevented, overtook us in a light waggon 
of the country, with which he had galloped over 
difficulties our heavier carriage had stuck fast in. 
It was quite dark when we stopped before some 
house where the sound of music led us to suppose 
we had found an inn. We were mistaken, however, 
and while the servant was making inquiries, and re- 
ceiving answers which he could not understand, as 
to the whereabouts of the hostelry, a gipsy girl 
came out of the house, and hearing the nature of 
our difficulty, at once took the arrangement of the 
matter on herself. At a single bound she threw 

herself into H 's waggon, seated herself beside 

him, and giving her orders to the peasant, desired 
him to drive through the river up the steep bank 
and along the deep road: we being left to follow 
them to the inn as best we could. Before we arrived, 
our gipsy guide had roused the whole house, got 
the keys of the chambers, unlocked the rooms, and 

while we were yet joking H on his adventure, 

the heroine of it had already lit the fires, mended 
the cracked stoves,'* got the carriage unloaded, 
laid the cloth, and was cooking the supper, ere it 

* The common stoves are made of tiles of coarse earthenware, 
the separate parts being united together by clay, which of course 
requires constant reparation, especially at the commencement of 
winter. The vessel of water which Dr. Arnot observed on the 
stoves on the Continent, and which he supposes to be placed there 
to supply moisture to the atmosphere, is intended to absorb the 
bad smell which a stove often emits. 



was yet ordered. Everything was so quickly done, 
that it had an air of conjuration about it. It 
was strange to find one whom, five minutes before, 
we had never even seen, already our guide, our 
hostess, our cook, our factotum. Nor was the 
interest lessened when we had time to observe our 
mysterious friend. Lila was a pretty gipsy girl 

of about sixteen, with features more regular than 
those of her tribe commonly are, but with all a 
gipsy's cunning flattery on her tongue. She was 


rather fancifully dressed, for over the Wallack 
shirt she had a bodice of scarlet cloth, embroi- 
dered with black. The coloured fillet over her 
forehead was ornamented with a gay bow in front, 
and behind each ear was a nosegay of the bright- 
est flowers. Her rich brown hair, parted in front, 
fell in a profusion of clustering curls on her neck, 
and hung down the back in the long-braided band 
of maidenhood. She spoke alternately Wallack, 
Magyar, and German, as she in turns scolded, di- 
rected, and coaxed. Before we ceased wondering at 
so pleasant an apparition, a good supper was smok- 
ing on the table, and the pretty gipsy by her laughing 
and talking almost persuaded us that we were sup- 
ping on ambrosia, while she played the gentle Hebe 
to our godships. We could never understand the 
mystery which seemed to belong to Lila's movements. 
They told us she was a gipsy of the neighbourhood, 
who often came into the town, and who was allowed 
to be about the house as much as she pleased. 
She had no occupation there, yet she had done every- 
thing. The gipsies are generally such rogues that 
they are scarcely permitted to enter any house, 
yet everything was perfectly secure with her. 

Our first duty at Hunyad, after taking breakfast, 
which Lila, dressed more gaily than before, had pre- 
pared for us, was to visit the old castle, as it is his- 
torically interesting, having been built by the greatest 
man Transylvania ever produced, Hunyadi Janos, 
the Governor of Hungary and father of Mathias Cor- 


vinus. Tradition assigns to Hunyadi a descent from 
Sigismund, King of Hungary. The tale runs thus : 
As Sigismund was passing through Transylvania, 
on his way to subdue his rebel vassal, the Woiwode 
of Wallachia, chance threw in his way a beautiful 
Wallack girl, Elizabeth Marsinai, the pride of the 
valley of Irlatszeg. Without disclosing his rank 
the gay monarch triumphed over the affections of 
the simple peasant, and as he left her to prosecute 
his wars, he gave her his signet ring, with the injunc- 
tion, that when the fruit of their love should see 
the light, she should carry it to the King, in Buda, 
who on recognising the ring would be sure to treat 
her and her child with kindness. 

The following year, as Elizabeth and the infant 

lade their progress towards the distant capital, the 
young mother, overcome by fatigue, fell asleep under 
the shade of a tree. The child in the mean time 
played with the ring, which hung like an amulet 

mnd his neck. A mischievous daw, who watched 
the infant's sports, at last hopped from his perch to 
join the play, and seizing the bauble in his beak, 
flew off with the prize. Awakened by the child's 
cries, Elizabeth saw with horror all her hopes of 
greatness dependent on the humour of a wicked 
wilful bird. Her brother, her companion and pro- 
tector in this long journey, was fortunately a keen 
sportsman ; and, as he heard her wailing, an arrow 
from his bow laid the cause of her sorrows at her 
feet. The ring recovered, the little party joyfully 



resumed their way, and when they reached their 
destination, and recounted their adventures, the 
delighted monarch could not sufficiently testify his 
pleasure. He at once bestowed on his son the 
name of Hunyadi, and presented him with the town 
of Hunyad, and sixty surrounding villages. The 
surname of Corvinus, later adopted, with the arms, 
a crow and ring, were assumed in memory of the 
events of this journey, Szonakos, the village which 
gave birth to Elizabeth, was declared tax-free for 
ever ; a right which it still enjoys. 

The name of Hunyadi was destined to eclipse 
even that of his royal father. Brought up amidst 
the wars, to which the state of the times and the 
increasing boldness and power of the Turks gave 
rise, Hunyadi found himself called on at an early 
age to protect the district over which he had been 
placed from the inroads of the barbarians. In the 
reign of Sigismund the Turks had ventured, for the 
first time, across the boundaries of Hungary, and 
already had the southern parts of Transylvania been 
rendered scarcely habitable, so frequent and so 
fierce had their attacks become. After the death of 
Albert, and before his successor was determined on, 
Hunyadi gained a series of glorious victories over 
the Moslems, following them through Wallachia, 
across the Danube into Bulgaria, and obliging them 
to yield up possession of the fortresses of Servia 
and Bosnia, thus placing all these countries under 
the vassalage of Hungary. By the support chiefly 


of Hunyadi, now strengthened by his victories, La- 
dislaus V. was secured on the throne, and his first 
act was to give peace to the kingdom, by a truce 
with the Turks, most solemnly ratified for a period 
of ten years. To this treaty Hunyadi was a party, 
nor can any sophistry release him from the disgrace 
of having broken his word when, only a few days 
after, the Pope's legate, by that miserable sophism 
of the church, that faith is not to be held with 
infidels, persuaded him to violate a solemn engage- 
ment, and, unprovoked, recommence the war against 
the Moslems. The treachery was, however, fearfully 
punished before Varna the false king killed, his 
army destroyed, and Hunyadi himself, flying and at 
last imprisoned, was just retribution for the crime. 

After the death of the king, Hunyadi was ap- 
pointed Governor of Hungary, during the minority 
of Ladislaus VI., and though at the head of a power- 
ful army, and surrounded by a large party, he never 
attempted to grasp a higher power than that which 
the assembled people had delegated to him. When 
at the age of thirteen the king was placed upon the 
throne by the machinations of Hunyadi's sworn 
foes no great man had worse ones, he at once 
gave up his power into the feeble hands which could 
scarcely have wrested it from him. The feelings of 
the country, however, were so strongly with him, 
thathe was appointed captain-general of the king- 
dom, and loaded with honours and endowments. 

The Turks had now taken Constantinople, and all 



Europe was roused against them. Crusades were 
preached ; the Monk Capistran, roused Christendom 
from its lethargy ; and Hunyadi, aided by the prac- 
tised troops from Germany, again took the field. His 
last campaign was his most brilliant one. After a con- 
test of three successive days, Belgrade fell into his 
hands, and the Infidel hordes were pursued by the 
victorious Christians almost to the gates of Constan- 
tinople. But their Emperor had little time to enjoy 
his victory, for in a few days disease consumed a life 
which so many wars had left untouched. But for 
Hunyadi Janos it is exceedingly probable that the 
Turks would have swept over the whole of Europe, as 
so many of their Eastern predecessors in invasion had 
already done, and instead of being only on the out- 
skirts as they now are, we might have seen them 
established in its very centre. Their career of vic- 
tory was, however, checked, their thoughts of con- 
quest turned in another direction, and although, 
when weaker hands than those of Hunyadi guided 
the reins of government, they did gain a temporary 
footing in Hungary, yet the confidence inspired by his 
victories enabled the Magyars to make head against 
them, and finally to expel them from the land. 

The castle of Vayda* Hunyad is finely situated 
on a bold precipitous limestone-cliff, washed on 
three sides by two small rivers, the Cserna and 

* It is called Vayda (Woiwode, or Governor) Hunyad, from the 
rank of the person to whom it gave its name, and to distinguish it 
from Banffy Hunyad, a town in another part of Transylvania. 



Zalasd, which meet at this point. On the opposite 
side of the Zalasd, rises another rock of the same 
height, which slopes gradually down to the town, 
and is fortified. From this second rock the castle 
is approached by a long wooden bridge, at a dizzy 
height above the stream and road below. The end 

of the bridge nearest the castle, by a simple con- 
trivance, is made to rise and fill up the portal of 
the watch-tower, which it closes like a door. This 
is the simplest drawbridge and gate, as well as the 
most effectual, I ever saw, and, it is still in con- 
stant use. There is no pulley or chain employed ; 
it is so balanced that it can be raised by placing the 
foot on the opposite end, the weight of the body 


being sufficient to turn the scale and to raise the 
huge mass in the air. The part of the castle on the 
right of the entrance is that built by Hunyadi, that 
on the left was repaired, and in part built by a Count 
Bethlen, at a later date. The wall on the right is 
almost unbroken by windows, except near the top, 
where a singularly elegant Gothic balcony runs along 
its whole length, forming a succession of windows 
fitted for the lighting of a long hall or gallery. 

On crossing the bridge, one of the officers of 
the iron-works for the castle now serves as a 
depot for the Government iron obtained from the 
mines in the neighbourhood very politely offered 
to conduct us over it. The interior forms an ir- 
regularly shaped court, of which the solid rock 
constitutes the pavement, and is completely sur- 
rounded by the buildings of the castle. A gallery 
runs round three sides of this court, and most of 
the windows open upon it. We entered by a Go- 
thic door on the right, and found ourselves in a 
large room, extending along the whole of one side 
of the castle divided by pillars in the centre, and 
supporting a number of arches, on which rests the 
groined ceiling. On the capital of one of the 
pillars, a scroll, picturesquely disposed, bears the 
following inscription in Gothic characters : 

"JJjoc opu0 fecit fieri magnificus 3fof)aittte0 ^uniato 
l&egni ^ungariee ufiernator &no JBni 1452." 

The proportions of this room are at present de- 
stroyed, by a partition which cuts off a part of it 


for the convenience of the Government officers, who 
use it as a counting-house. The rest of the space 
is occupied by bars of iron. It is probable that this 
part formed the Ritter Saal, though they assured us 
it was on the story above. This, however, we found 
divided into three or four very handsome rooms, 
which are said to have been fitted up for and used 
by the Emperor Francis, some years since. From 
these rooms glass doors open to the Gothic balcony 
I before spoke of, which is divided into several 
compartments by solid walls, forming the most 
lovely little boudoirs imaginable. The opposite 
side of the court is occupied by some of the officers, 
as a dwelling, and a very handsome one it makes. 
It is kept in very good order ; indeed the whole 
building seems in good repair, and nothing can be 
more elegant than the drawing-rooms which the 
huge round-towers form, nothing more beautiful 
than the views presented from their windows. 

About the largest tower there is something mys- 
terious, for to all appearance it is a solid mass of ma- 
sonry ; nor could our guide give any further account 
of it. Attempts had been made, ho said, to pene- 
trate it, but nothing had been discovered ; it was 
found solid throughout. The exterior of this tower 
is still painted, as tradition reports it has been ever 
since its erection. It is in black and white, disposed 
chequerwise, and looks as ugly as possible. I 
have noticed in speaking of Arva, that the ancient 
castles of Hungary were mostly painted outwardly ; 


at the present time Hunyad is the only one, per- 
haps, in which the custom is maintained. I have 
observed, however, other buildings painted in Hun- 
gary even at the present day. At Lugos, the Greek 
church is ornamented in this way. If I mistake 
not, private houses, in some old towns, still have 
their walls painted ; but the best example, if I may 
be allowed to anticipate, is in the old court-house 
and prison of Klausenburg. This building is co- 
vered over with allegorical designs, and is divided 
into compartments bearing wise Latin inscriptions, 
in reference to the purposes of the building, and 
the duties of its occupants. I am not aware that 
this custom ever prevailed in England, or in any 
other part of the Continent except Hungary, with 
respect to the outer walls of castles, common as it is 
in the inclosed courts and porticos of Italy. I know 
of no instance in which the manner called fresco 
has been employed in Hungary ; those I have seen 
were all in common oil colours. 

We were a little surprised on our return to the 
inn, to receive a request, through our servant, that 
we should accept a complimentary visit from some 
of the inhabitants of the town, as we were the 
first Englishmen who were known to have passed 
through Hunyad. It would have been difficult to 
refuse this proffered civility, however little inclina- 
tion we might feel to play the part assigned us, 
and we therefore ordered in as many chairs as our 
miserable room could contain, and turning the beds 


into sofas, we sat in due state to receive the dele- 
gates of Vayda Hunyad to our noble selves, the 
wandering representatives of the United kingdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland. The servant opened the 
door with considerable ceremony, and announced the 
names, titles and occupations of four as fat little 
burgesses as could be found in any snug country 
town of our own island. The spokesman of the 
party, the fattest and most important person, was 
the doctor, who expressed in a very complimentary 
speech, in German, the pleasure they had in seeing 
Englishmen, members of a constitutional country, 
and Protestants like themselves, in their town, and 
as we were the first who had ever so far honoured 
it, they could not omit the opportunity, et cetera, et 
cetera. Of course we could only express our deep 
sense of the compliment paid us, our admiration of 
the country, and our conviction, that as the facilities 
of travelling became more general, the beauties of 
Transylvania would attract many of our countrymen 
to visit them. Thereupon Tokay and biscuits were 
handed round, and a parley commenced, consisting 
principally of questions on their side, apparently ar- 
ranged by previous concert, and propounded by the 
doctor, which were answered on our part as we were 
able. They consisted chiefly of inquiries relative to 
points in English law and government, which had 
puzzled them no wonder, for they sometimes puzzle 
even their own authors in reading the journals, 
and in regard to the appearance and character of 


public men whose acts or speeches had interested 
them. This was another proof of the consideration 
our dear native land enjoyed among strangers, and 
we were delighted to satisfy to the best of our 
power an interest so flattering to England, and so 
useful to other constitutional countries. In teach- 
ing the world that a peaceable reform, obtained by 
moral arms alone, is more effectual than the most 
brilliant revolution, England has done more for the 
liberties of mankind than all the nations of ancient 
or modern times. 

After some time our visitors took their leave, and 
we prepared to continue our journey, but a difficulty 
arose which we had not expected. The bill which 
the landlord presented to us for the very slender 
accommodation received, was so exorbitant, that it 
was impossible to overlook such gross imposition. 
Suspecting that our servant was a rogue, I declined 
his service as an interpreter on this occasion, and a 
stranger kindly offered his assistance. It was well I 
had recourse to this precaution, for I found the 
rascal had been carousing all night with a party he had 
accidentally met, and that he had desired the land- 
lord to put the wine, I forget how many quarts 
each, down to our account. On this exposure, and 
on being subjected to some little abuse by the land- 
lady for certain other offences, the fellow seized a 
knife and advanced towards the woman with a threat 
to murder her if she repeated her words. Luckily I 
caught sight of the knife and obliged him to relin- 


quish it, but I shall not easily forget his appearance 
at that moment. He was a strong-built man with an 
expression of countenance much resembling a wolf, 
and he had become excited to the utmost fury by the 
discovery. He was red and foaming with rage when 
I threatened to strike him to the ground (for I am 
fortunately, a strong man), if he did not relinquish 
the knife, but in an instant, with a power over him- 
self I never saw equalled, he bowed low, and in his 
usual humble voice replied, " Certainly, if my master 
commands it." I need hardly say that I got rid of 
him as soon as possible, for I hold that no rogue is 
so dangerous as one who can command himself. On a 
former occasion my suspicions had been raised against 
him from finding my pistols unloaded and stuffed 
with dirt ; a precaution which I have no doubt he 
had adopted in case of detection in any roguery. 

As we got into the carriage, Lila was there to 
bid us adieu. Her beauty, her good-humour, and her 
happy way of rendering herself useful, made us quite 
sorry to part with her, and I believe S did pro- 
pose to equip her " enjocke" and take her with us ; 

but S is a wild fellow ! I know nothing can 

be more ridiculous than to fancy a gipsy sentimental, 
and yet, in spite of ridicule, I would swear I saw a 
tear glisten in the poor girl's eye as we drove off. 
A few kind words are rarely lost even on a gipsy. 

At Deva, oui* next station, we spent, or rather 
misspent, a couple of days ; for placing ourselves 
under the guidance of a young gentleman who 


offered to show us the lions of the neighbourhood, 
we saw only what he thought lions and not what 
we should have selected as such. 

About ten miles from Deva, there are some of 
the richest gold mines in Transylvania, those of 
Nagy Ag and Szekerem, and to these he promised 
to conduct us. With great difficulty we got to the 
foot of the mountain, over almost impassable roads, 
where we found oxen ready to drag us up the nearly 
perpendicular rock, and several peasants in attend- 
ance to hold the carriage from falling over. We 
had often occasion to wonder at the dislike the 
Hungarian seems to have to walking, but from imi- 
tation we fell into their customs, sitting still in our 
carriage to be slowly dragged through and over 
places which we could have surmounted much more 
easily and quickly on foot. Once at the mines, we 
were conducted along a new railway adit, which I 
of course imagined would conduct us to the work- 
ings; but, alas! it will only get there some years 
hence, for it is yet unfinished, and in the mean 
time we were obliged to content ourselves with the 
ride on the railroad for our trouble, it being de- 
clared too late to see the other works when we got 
back. Our guide assured us that many ladies and 
gentlemen came to see the railway, but nobody 
thought of going into the mines, so that he had no 
idea we could have wished such a thing. 

The quantity of gold and silver obtained here, 
though less than formerly, is still considerable ; not 

DEVA. 173 

less than one hundred and fifty marks of gold, and 
seven hundred and fifty of silver, per annum. These 
mines are peculiarly interesting to the mineralogist 
as being the richest in tellurium of any in Europe ; 
indeed it was here that metal was first discovered. 
I afterwards saw a specimen of pure gold from 
Szekerem, in the form of a tree, I think mine- 
ralogists call it tree-gold. It was two inches high, 
standing quite out from the matrix, and was most 
beautifully branched and foliated. 

Deva, situated on the banks of the Maros, is 
worth visiting, were it only for the view from the 
old castle. On the very point of a rock, which rises 
above the little town, stand the ruins of a fortress, 
said to have been begun by the Romans, though 
it was probably used for such purpose ever since 
the country was inhabited. It is now, however, 
a very small ruin, although a number of walls 
and turrets on different parts of the hill show the 
extent the castle once had. It has lately been 
repaired in a tasteless manner, and now serves as a 
watch-tower for a few frontier soldiers. 

The view extends, towards the west, along the 
beautiful valley of the Maros, and, to the east, as 
far as the blue mountains of Zalatna, which were 
tipped with the first fall of the autumn's snow. 
Lover as I am of rivers and valleys, I know few 
that I prefer to the Maros, and its vale. I shall 
have opportunity enough hereafter of describing the 
higher part of this river, for I afterwards traced it 


nearly to its source, but of its downward course I 
may as well speak now, though I did not visit it till 
a later period. 

The first part of the Maros valley, towards the 
borders of Hungary, is rich, well wooded, and occa- 
sionally ornamented with pretty country houses, At 
Dobra the road leaves it, and I know nothing more 
of it till some time after it has reached Hungary. 
Those, however, who are acquainted with the border 
district, describe it as wild to the last degree ; the 
river bound in its channel by precipitous rocks, 
and the valley darkened by forests of the native 
oak which have never known the woodman's axe. 
At Kapolnas the valley widens considerably, and 
presents a scene of extraordinary loveliness. For 
perhaps fifteen miles in length, by three or four 
in width, extends a plain covered with white vil- 
lages, and groaning under the richest crops of corn, 
surrounded on every side by mountains covered 
to their summits by forests of oak, and traversed 
in its whole extent by the river now grown wide 
and powerful. 

There are few things in any country which have 
struck me as being more beautiful than this part 
of the valley of the Maros, but it is completely 
unknown even to Hungarians. The whole of it at 
present belongs to the Kammer ; and as it is sub- 
ject to frequent inundations, against which no pre- 
cautions are taken, its inhabitants are doomed to 
much poverty and suffering. When sold, as it will 


shortly be, it is to be hoped that private capital and 
enterprise will make it the elysium which Nature 
seems to have intended it should become. 

How far steam navigation will succeed on the 
Maros, in its present state, is extremely doubt- 
ful, as it is a very wide and wayward stream, and 
in summer has sometimes not more than two feet 
of water ; but there is no doubt it might be made 
navigable, and probably it will be, as soon as in- 
creased population on its banks shall demand an 
outlet for their productions. 

As H was too unwell to-day to climb the 

castle-hill on foot, and yet unwilling to leave with- 
out some memorial of the scene, a peasant was 
found who undertook to convey him to the sum- 
lit in a leiter-wagen. Up accordingly he went, and 
just as he had placed himself comfortably to his 
work, a borderer from the castle, stepping cauti- 
ously as a cat about to seize a mouse, hastened 
towards him till he was stopped at a little dis- 
tance by the driver. H had observed the 

man, but as the latter contented himself with 
holding a long and loud colloquy with the Wai- 
lack, and as H did not understand the lan- 
guage, he took no further notice of him, nor 
did the soldier offer any other molestation to the 
artist, than by keeping a very sharp eye on his 
movements, and never quitting the wagen till it 
arrived at the inn. Judge then of H '& sur- 
prise, on coming down, to be congratulated at his 


escape from imprisonment! The simple grenzer, 
persuaded that the ruins of Deva formed a most 
important fortress, had come to arrest the daring 
spy who was taking a plan of its defences, and 
was armed with a rope which he was just about 

to throw over H 's arms when the peasant 

interposed, and with great difficulty persuaded him 
to delay the seizure till lie had accompanied him 
to the village, and informed himself better on the 
subject. It was a very good joke when so well over, 
but it might have been otherwise ; to be suspected 
as a spy, bound, and in the hands of a very rude 
and ignorant soldiery, is a position by no means free 
from danger. 

Nor was this the only adventure which befell our 
luckless friend at Deva. While quietly finishing his 
sketches in the inn, he observed an ill-conditioned 
fellow staring at him through the half-opened door, 
when, calling the servant, he desired him to inquire 
his business. Upon this the ill-conditioned man 

became excessively abusive, declared that " H 

was a spy, a rogue, a German, or something still 
worse ; that he saw things which he was sure were 
for no good, and that he would denounce him to 
the authorities/' The servant requested him to 
change his quarters, but he protested he was a 
Nemes Ember, and would stay where he liked, and 
do what he liked. As soon as the authorities heard 
of this affair they sent to beg we would excuse the 
brutality and ignorance of an individual who had 


never seen more of the world than his native county, 
and who was notorious as one of the most trouble- 
some fellows in it, assuring us at the same time 
that they had taken care that we should not be 
subject to any further molestation. 

We had been promised vorspann at five in the 
morning to take us on the next stage to Szasvaros: 
but at ten, in spite of repeated demands, no horses 
had appeared, and we were obliged to order post- 
horses. In Transylvania, generally, it is extremely 
difficult to obtain vorspann ; indeed, I believe it is 
not allowed to any one except the officers of the 
mnty or of the crown. On the other hand, the 
is much better than in Hungary ; and the 
principal roads are maintained in a state that 
ought to put many continental states to the blush. 
The cross roads, however, are in a most deplorable 
condition here ; nothing can be worse. Count 

S , I remember, said he travelled for six weeks 

in Transylvania, and was overturned six times. 

As we approached Miihlenbach, where we meant 
to remain for the night, a heavy snow-storm warned 
us that winter was setting in, and induced us to 
change our intended route, and, instead of proceed- 
ing to Hermanstadt, to go directly to Kfatusunburg. 
The inn was so full, that they had no apartment to 
offer us but a very small room, where it was impos- 
sible to stow three beds ; and we were preparing to 
encounter the night and storm on the road, when a 
gentleman, who had preceded us, sent to offer his 



large room in exchange for our small one. As this 
was a person we had never seen, and who knew only 
that we were foreigners, and in difficulty, it is 
worth adducing, as one of the thousand proofs of 
the civilities we received merely in right of our 
character as strangers. This gentleman joined us 
in the evening, and proved to be a Szekler con- 
nected with the post-office. He was a very agreea- 
ble companion, from whom we received much infor- 
mation, which the reader will have the benefit of at 
the proper time and place. With respect to the 
department in which he was employed, he assured 
us, that the reports so often repeated of letters 
being opened were entirely without foundation, as 
far at least as Hermanstadt was concerned; and, he 
believed, they were equally unfounded with respect 
to every other place in Hungary and Transylvania. 
As to what took place at Vienna, he knew only 
from hearsay. 

As we returned next morning for a short distance 
on our road of the preceding evening, we found we 
had passed over a plain of some extent, and called 
from its richness the Kenyer Mezb* (bread-field), il- 
lustrious in Transylvanian history for a great victory 
gained over the Turks by one of their native princes, 
Bathori Istvan, in 1479. 

I shall say nothing more of our journey to Klaus- 
enburg, which occupied us two days, for we scarcely 
put our heads out of the carriages, so miserably 
cold and wet had it become ; and, as we shall pass 


over the same ground when we visit the mines 
of Zalatna, it is of no importance. As we reached 
the summit of the long hill, down which a wind- 
ing road of two or three miles' descent leads to the 
capital, the sun was pleased to show himself ere 
he set over the now white mountains, and gave 
us a beautiful glimpse of the valley of the Szamos, 
with Klausenburg in the midst just below us. The 
Szamos is the second river in Transylvania in point 
of size, and flows through another of those valleys 
which give to this country the appearance of a mass 
of small mountains traversed in various directions 
by rivers, which have cut out for themselves water- 
courses from one hundred yards to a mile or two in 
width, occasionally, where a tributary stream lends 
its force, widening into small plains like those of 
Hatszeg, Kenyer Mezo, Harom-szk, and Thorda. 
The principal roads are formed along these valleys, 
so that travelling in Transylvania presents a succes- 
sion of beautiful scenes rarely to be met with in 
other lands. 

A curious substitute has been found for curb- 
stones to the bridges and dangerous places in the 
descent of the Felek hill. The stratum, a fine sand- 
stone, has formed itself naturally, in some places, 
into nearly perfect globes of considerable size, 
four-times that of a man's head, which are used 
as curb- stones, and which answer perfectly well for 
the purpose to which they have been applied. I 
observed one place on the road where these stones 

N 2 



were quarried, and it appeared that they were 
formed between two layers of the sand-stone, some 
of them assuming the cylindrical form ; but almost 
all more or less nodulated. We galloped down the 
Felek hill at a tremendous rate, chiefly, I believe, 
because the weak horses, and weaker harness, had 
not strength enough to hold back ; nor did we 
feel ourselves safe till we whirled through one of 
the old-fashioned gates of Klausenburg, and were 
rattling over its rough pavement. The only toler- 
able inn within the walls was full, and we were 
fain to content ourselves with such accommoda- 
tion as was furnished by the best of those in the 





Transylvania. Its Population. Settlement of the Szeklers, 
of the Magyars, of the Saxons, under Woiwodes. Zapolya. 
Native Princes. Bethlen Gbor. Aristocratic Demo- 
cracy. Union with Austria. Diploma Leopoldinum. 
Confirmed by Maria Theresa. Actual Form of Government. 
Constitution infringed. Opposition. Baron Wesselenyi. 
County Meetings. Grievances. General Vlasits. Diet of 
1834. Archduke Ferdinand. History of the Diet. Violent 
Dissolution. Moral Opposition. 

A STRANGE little country is this Transylvania! 
Very likely the reader never heard its name before, 
and yet some hundred years ago it was in close 
alliance with England; and, long before religious 
liberty, annual parliaments, payment of members, 
and the election of magistrates were dreamed of, 
amongst us, they were granted to Transylvania, by 
a solemn charter of their Prince, the Emperor of 
Austria. Here is this country on the very limits 
of European civilization, yet possessing institutions 
and rights, for which the most civilized have not 
been thought sufficiently advanced. 

The distinctions and differences among the popu- 


lation of Hungary have offered us a singular spec- 
tacle enough, but the Transylvanians far outpass 
them in these matters, as they vary among them- 
selves, not only in language, race, and religion, but 
in civil laws and political institutions. The Mag- 
yar, the Szekler, the Saxon, and the Wallack, have 
all their rights, but differing most materially in 
nature and extent from each other. The whole 
population of the country does not amount to more 
than two millions,* yet they have among them 
four established religions, besides several others 
tolerated, at least four languages, and I know not 
how many different national customs, prejudices, 
and modes of feeling. 

It is not my intention to enter upon these 
matters at any length. Suffice it to say, that 
there are three nations, the Magyar, the Szekler, 
and the Saxon, which have each a part in the 
government of the country. They inhabit differ- 
ent districts ; the Magyars, the whole west and 
centre ; the Szeklers, the east and north ; and 
the Saxons, the greater part of the south ; and 

* The best statistical authority on which I can lay my hand is 
a small geography of Transylvania, by Lebrecht, published as far 
back as 1804. The whole population is estimated at 1,458,559 
(without the clergy); of these, 729,316 are Wallacks; about 
358,596 Magyars; about 123,085 Szeklers; 181,790 Saxons; 
while of Gipsies, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, and Bulgarians, there 
are about 65,772. In the " Transylvania" published in 1833, 
it is conjectured to have risen to 2,034,375, including the 
Transylvanian military Borderers. 


with these are mixed up a number of Wallacks, 
Gipsies, Jews, Armenians, &c. In order to give 
the English reader some idea of this country, and of 
its present state, I believe it will be best to dedicate 
a page or two to its previous history. 

When the Romans finally retired from Dacia, 
and Aurelian offered as many of the inhabitants as 
chose to accept it, a refuge in Mresia, which he 
named his Dacia,* the country was left defence- 
less, and open to the incursions of those barbarous 
hordes which in turn cursed Europe with their de- 
vastating presence. The greater part of these seem 
to have passed and repassed Transylvania, without 
either effecting the total destruction of the Dacians, 
or being able to establish themselves in the country. 
Of one of them, however, a considerable number 
whether cut off from the principal body of the 
enemy, or separated by some quarrel among them- 
selves, or stationed to retain a command of the 
mountain-passes, and so facilitate a return, is un- 
known were left behind the rest ; and there their 
descendants remain to the present day. These 
are the Szeklers. 

From which of these savage nations the Szeklers, 
or Siculi, are derived, is one of those historical 
puzzles in which the learned of Hungary, are fond 
of losing themselves. Attila and his Huns, having 
gained the widest renown, if not the best, Szekler 

* The Wallacks, still found in some parts of Bulgaria, are 
probably the descendants of those who followed Aurelian. 


antiquaries generally fix on them as their fore- 
fathers. But, be that as it may, the Magyars 
found them where they now are, on their entering 
the country in the tenth century ; and as they were 
evidently of the same family for their language, 
features, character, all declare them Magyars, 
they were received into favour, and allowed to re- 
tain free possession of their lands, on condition of 
guarding the frontier. 

The Magyars made themselves masters of Dacia 
and Pannonia as early as the beginning of the 
tenth century, and from that time till 1526, Tran- 
sylvania was little more than a part of Hungary, 
though it must be confessed a very unruly part. A 
certain degree of independence is still maintained. 
It was governed by a Woiwode appointed by the 
King of Hungary, who seems to have held Diets 
to consult with the nobles on the affairs of the 
country. These meetings were sometimes even pre- 
sided over by the Kings of Hungary themselves. 
During the greater part of this period, Transylvania 
was rarely without suffering the evils of domestic 
or foreign warfare, and so terribly was the popula- 
tion diminished, that whole tracts of country lay 
waste for want of cultivators. To supply this defi- 
ciency, foreign colonists were invited to re-people 
the wasted districts. As early as the middle of 
the twelfth century, a colony of Germans, from 
the Rhine country, were tempted by the offer of 
a fertile soil, and by a promise of the enjoyment 


of their own customs and religion, as well as of 
certain other privileges, to settle in the nearly de- 
serted Transylvania. It is to this colony the present 
Saxons owe their origin. 

It was not till the battle of Mohacs had reduced 
the power of Hungary to so low an ebb, that she 
accepted an Austrian Emperor for her king, and 
till she so far forgot her ancient traditions, as 
eventually to establish the succession hereditary 
in that family, that Transylvania, under Zapolya, 
threw off her dependence on Hungary, and pro- 
claimed herself an independent state. Zapolya's 
views were not confined to Transylvania; his ob- 
ject was the crown of Hungary, and it is certain 
that his schemes during the weak reign of Lud- 
wig II. constantly tended to that object, arid it is 
even suspected that his absence from Mohacs was 
caused by the same ambitious motive. Be that as 
it may, although actually crowned at Stuhlweissen- 
burg, and although supported by a large party, he 
was unable to establish himself on the throne, and 
he was finally reduced to the principality of Tran- 
sylvania, which he may be said to have founded. 

Transylvania achieved her independence, if such 
it can be called, under bad auspices, for Zapolya 
submitted to the degradation of paying a tribute 
to the Porte, as the condition on which he should 
receive aid against the arms of Austria. For more 
than a century and a half, Transylvania continued 
in this state of partial independence, sometimes 


paying tribute to the Porte, sometimes seeking 
the support of Austria, but always throwing off 
her allegiance, both to one and the other, the mo- 
ment her own strength or rather their weakness, 
afforded her the slightest chance of doing so with 
impunity. During this period, the country was 
governed by native princes, generally chosen by 
the Diet, but rarely without the intervention of 
a Turkish Pasha, or an Austrian ambassador, and, 
sometimes, they were nominated by one of these 
powers without even the form of an election. 
Short as was the time, Transylvanian historians 
enumerate with exultation, no less than twenty- 
four possessors of the Crown, as if the number of 
princes increased the brilliancy of the epoch. Of 
these, one reigned only a single day, others not 
more than a year ; and it often happened that two 
reigned at the same time, the one acknowledging 
himself a vassal of Austria, the other a tributary 
of the Porte. Of all these princes, but few have 
either acquired or deserved a European reputa- 
tion. Bethlen Gabor, who presided over the des- 
tinies of Transylvania, nearly at the same period 
as Cromwell over those of England, is the most 
striking exception ; like Cromwell, he was a staunch 
adherent to the doctrines of Calvin, a successful 
general, and a man of most determined resolution 
and untiring energy. As a sign of the times, rather 
than as a characteristic of the man, it may be men- 
tioned that Bethlen composed psalms which are 


still sung in the Reformed churches, and that he 
read the bible through twenty times. Two of 
Bethlen's most constant objects were the banishment 
of the Jesuits from Transylvania, and the securing 
the rights of the Protestants in Hungary ; but to 
accomplish the first, he did not hesitate to perse- 
cute to the death, and the second seems ^o have 
been rather a cloak to ambition than the object 
in which that ambition centred. The part which 
Bethlen took in the Thirty Years' War, gave a 
European importance to Transylvania, such as it 
never before nor since that time has enjoyed. For 
many years Bethlen's favourite project was the 
restoration of the kingdom of Dacia, including 
Transylvania and Hungary east of the Theiss, in 
favour of himself, and the only reason that can be 
assigned for his having abandoned this object was, 
the failure of heirs to inherit his power and glory. 
He died childless. The engagements of Bethlen 
with the chiefs of the Thirty Years' War, the faith- 
lessness of the Jesuit ministers of the Austrian 
court, and the discontent of the Protestants of 
Hungary, together with his own ambition, made the 
life of this prince a constant series of intrigues and 
wars. That his character should come out quite 
clear from such a trial is hardly to be expected ; 
indeed, in the intricate mazes of policy, there seems 
to have been few paths, however tortuous, which he 
did not tread; yet it is impossible not to admire 
the greatness of his designs, the fertility of his 


resources, his diplomatic skill, and the noble prin- 
ciple of religious liberty, for which he professed 
to struggle. 

What the strength and cunning of a Bethlen 
Gabor was unable to hold in peace and security, 
the comparative feebleness of his successors ren- 
dered a, perpetual object of contest. For a long 
series of years, Transylvania was engaged in wars, 
half political, half religious, in which neither the 
bigotry of the mass was rendered respectable by its 
sincerity, nor the restless turbulence of the chiefs 
by their faith or disinterestedness. The Protestants 
of the mountains of Transylvania, and the half 
nomad population of the plains of Hungary, were 
ever ready to engage in expeditions, where their 
faith was to be defended, and plunder to be gained. 
Nor were adventurous leaders wanting ; who, if 
they did not gain freedom from the struggle, rarely 
failed to increase their patrimony by obtaining rich 
grants of lands ere their zeal could be cooled. As 
the first battle of Mohacs may be said to have given 
rise to this state, so the second battle of Mohacs 
may be considered to have put an end to it. 

It has often astonished me to hear Transylva- 
nians speak of the period during which they were 
ruled by native princes, as the golden age of their 
history, the epoch of national glory, the time to 
which their national songs and legends all relate. 
Is it that national independence has such charms 
for a people, that civil war, with all its horrors, 


foreign invasion, with all its suite of crimes, can be 
forgotten under the influence of its magic name ? 
It must be so ; and yet are there men who dare to 
mock such sentiments, and who dispose of nations 
with as little regard to their feelings as if they 
were flocks of sheep. 

Perhaps, too, it may be that this period was the 
one most fruitful in the establishment of free 
institutions, of which the benefits are still felt. If 
the weakness of Transylvanian princes gave a vast 
weight to the demands of the aristocracy, their 
need of support during such long wars, induced 
them to extend the privileges of that aristocracy 
to so great a number as to render it almost a 
democracy. It is to this circumstance we must 
attribute the character of freedom which distin- 
guishes the institutions of Transylvania. * It was 
no longer a privileged few demanding power to 
restrain the suffering many. The aristocracy be- 
came a people, demanding liberty for all, except the 
conquered part of the nation. The establishment of 
equal rights for four denominations, at a time when 
all the rest of Europe was persecuting for religion's 
sake, was an act so far above the paltry spirit of 

* Transylvania can scarely be considered an aristocracy any 
more than America can. The native Indians and negroes of 
America the free negroes of the north, I mean, for Transyl- 
vania knows nothing so degrading as absolute slavery occupy 
the" place of the gipsies and Wallacks of Transylvania ; the 
rest of the inhabitants of both countries enjoying nearly equal 


oligarchic legislation, that we can account for it 
in no other way than by reference to that great 
extension of political rights enjoyed by the Transyl- 
vanians, and which was in a great measure achieved 
under their native princes. 

Another circumstance which has made the Tran- 
sylvanians look back to the government of their 
native princes with affection and regret, is the 
frightful persecutions to which, in the earlier times 
of their subjection, they were exposed at the hands 
of foreign masters, and in later days, the violence 
with which their constitutional rights have been 
trampled under foot. The names of Basta, Caraffa, 
and Heister, generals of Austria, to whom the task 
of oppressing Transylvania was in turn committed, 
are never mentioned without a shudder, even to the 
present time. The peasant still tells his children 
of the sad days when Basta, after having taken 
all their cattle, harnessed their forefathers to his 
waggons, and thus supplied his army with forage 
and transport.* 

Without attempting to trace the constitutional 
history of Transylvania step by step, through its 
various phases of developement, it may be worth 
while to pause a moment, and examine its great 
foundation-stone, the celebrated Diploma Leopoldi- 
num, as it not only contains the chief elements of 
the form of government which has been in opera- 

* A kind of wheelbarrow was introduced for that purpose by 
Basta, and they are still called Basta szeker, or Basta's carriages. 


tion from the day on which it was granted to the 
present, but may serve also to give us some notion 
of the progress made by the nation previous to the 
period when it was obtained. The want of good 
historians of Transylvania, at least in the German 
language, and I believe also in the Hungarian, the 
disturbed and unsettled character of the period 
itself, and the fact that the institutions were then 
rather forming than formed, must be our excuse for 
not entering more fully into the political condition 
of the country, previous to the date of the Dip- 
loma. It is certain, however, that the princes 
were elected,* but the form of election was exceed- 
ingly indeterminate, and the supreme power was 
more frequently obtained by force of arms than by 
a majority of votes. The Diets were held annually 
under some princes, nearly dispensed with by others. 
The members were in part elected, in part nomi- 
nated, and in part, I suspect, even hereditary. 

In judging of the state of legislation previous to 
the Diploma Leopoldinum, it must not be forgotten 
that Austria obtained the election of the Emperor, 
as Prince of Transylvania, chiefly through the in- 

* I have been astonished to hear really sensible men refer to 
the time when they elected to, that is quarrelled for, fought for, 
intrigued for, bribed for, betrayed for, the throne as a period of 
glory, and the loss of that privilege as the greatest misfortune. 
I, on the contrary, believe sincerely that the greatest some might 
say the only advantage Hungary and Transylvania have received 
from their connexion with Austria, is the loss of this right, and 
the establishment of an hereditary succession to the crown. 


fluence of treachery on the part of one or two 
Transylvanians, seconded by the weakness of the 
aged Prince Apaffi, and by the presence of a large 
army under Caraffa, and that the Diploma was, 
therefore, little more than a compromise, forced on 
the country, between the absolute principle of the 
Austrian Government, and the almost republican 
forms then in use in Transylvania. 

The first article of the Diploma gives an assur- 
ance of equal rights to the four religions, viz., the 
Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Unitarian, and 
the permission to build new churches wherever their 
numbers may require them. 

The second secures to each religion, all the lands, 
tithes, benefices, foundations, churches, schools, &c., 
then actually possessed by them, although they may 
have belonged formerly to the Catholics. 

The third insures the Transylvanians the enjoy- 
ment of their civil privileges, according to the esta- 
blished laws of Hungary, while by the Saxons their 
own municipal organization is to be retained. 

By the fourth it is promised that nothing shall 
be changed in the form of government, in the 
appointment of the Privy Council, in the constitu- 
tion of the Diet, the manner of voting, or the admi- 
nistration of justice, except the right of appeal to 
the Crown. 

The fifth excludes foreigners from the possession 
of offices. 

By the sixth it is declared that property re- 


verting to the Crown, by the extinction of families, 
shall be bestowed on other deserving persons, and 
that Transylvanians possessing property in Hungary 
shall enjoy it with the same rights as Hunga- 

By the seventh it is stipulated that the President 
of the Privy Council, the Commander-in-chief of 
the Transylvanian Militia, the Chancellor, the mem- 
bers of the Privy Council, the Prothonotaries, and 
other high dignitaries, must be natives chosen by 
the Diet, although requiring the royal assent to their 

By the eighth it is provided that in the Privy 
Council a fourth of the members shall be Catholics, 
as likewise in the supreme courts of justice. 

By the ninth an annual Diet is guaranteed, the 
dissolution to depend on the royal will. 

It is stipulated by the tenth that the Governor 
shall reside in the country, and that he, as well as 
the Privy Council and the members of the court 
of justice, shall be paid by the Crown. 

It is agreed by the eleventh that in peace the 
country shall pay an annual tribute of fifty thou- 
sand thalers; in time of war, against Hungary 
and Transylvania, four hundred thousand florins, 
including supplies delivered in kind. The assess- 
ment of this sum to be left to the Diet. All other 
charges are to be borne by the Crown out of the 
Kammeral revenues derived from the Fiscal estates, 
salt-tax, metal tax, among the Saxons the cus- 

VOL. n. o 


toms' tenth, and in the Hungarian counties the tithe 

By the twelfth the free Szeklers are to remain 
tax free, but bound to do military service. 

The thirteenth provides that the taxes, duties, 
and customs shall not be increased beyond what 
they had previously been. 

By the fourteenth the tithes are to be rented by 
the land owners, but the fiscus is to receive the 
arenda canon or composition. 

By the fifteenth the country is required to main- 
tain troops for its occupation and protection under 
the command of an Austrian general ; but he is 
not to mix in civil affairs, and must maintain a 
good understanding with the Governor, the Diet, 
and the Privy Council, in matters of war. 

By the sixteenth the people are to be relieved 
from the burden of supporting and lodging travel- 
lers, by the establishment of posts and inns. 

Although the Austrian power was long rendered 
uncertain by a series of civil wars, in which Tran- 

* This tithe-rent arises from the secularization of all the church 
property under one of the princes, I think the Unitarian Zapolya 
Zsigmund. Previous to that time the nobles had paid tithe to 
the church, they were now to pay it to the fiscus. As the collec- 
tion in kind more than swallowed up the profits of the tax, it 
was generally let, or compounded for, by a fixed sum of money, 
paid by the nobles, who had then the right to collect the tithe 
from their own peasants. This composition is paid to the present 
\ ^ay. A great part of the TransylvaniaiL clergy of^the established 
religions are pai^by the government. The Greek church alone, 
entirely maintains its. own. 




sylvania took a leading part, it was finally esta- 
blished on a firm basis, and, as the Austrian party 
grew stronger, the more liberal articles of the di- 
ploma were gradually invaded, but the monarchs, 
nevertheless, continued to swear to their observance, 
and no legal modification was ever made in its pro- 
visions. Maria Theresa imitated her predecessors, 
and adopted the diploma in all its extent, requiring 
only that the Diet, in return, should formally re- 
nounce the right of electing the Prince, and accept 
the Pragmatic Sanction establishing the succession 
in her, and her descendants. Here, as in Hungary, 
during the latter years of Maria Theresa's reign, 
and during the whole of Joseph's, the constitution 
was in abeyance, nor, during the very few occasions 
on which the Diet was called together, towards the 
end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the 
nineteenth centuries, did any important change 
take place. The long wars in which Austria be- 
came engaged soon after, furnished an excuse for 
ruling without a Diet, and so matters remained till 

The actual form of government then, as settled 
by the Diploma Leopoldinum, and according to 
law, if not always according to fact, existing at 
the present time, is nearly as follows : 

A Governor, aided by a Privy Council, Secre- 
taries, and others, corresponding with the Transyl- 
vanian chancery at Vienna, in other words, acting 
under the direction of an Austrian minister, con- 

o 2 


stitute the executive, whilst the legislative is formed 
by a Diet, to be held every year. The appointment 
of the executive is to be vested jointly in the Diet 
and the Crown.* For every office the Diet is to 
candidate or nominate three individuals from each 
of the received religions, that is twelve persons for 
each office, from among whom the Crown appoints 

The Diet itself forms only one body, though it 
is composed of various elements. Every county and 
free town sends its members, the Magyars about 
forty-six, the Szeklers eighteen, and the Saxons 
eighteen also ; the members of the towns in Tran- 
sylvania have the same rights as those of the coun- 
ties ; the Catholic church sends two members re- 
presentatives of abbeys. The Catholic and united 
Greek Bishops claim each a seat also. Besides 
these, there are Regalists, as they are called (a sort 
of Peers), who sit and vote with the others, but 
who are not endowed with any other power or title 
in consequence. Some of these are nominated by 
the Crown for life, others have seats in virtue of 
their office, as the Lords Lieutenant, Privy Coun- 
sellors, and Secretaries. The number of Regalists 
is said to have been limited to eighty-nine by Maria 
Theresa, but this regulation has been grossly infring- 
ed, the present number exceeding two hundred. 

* This is a disputed point which I do not pretend to decide, 
but merely state how it actually takes place ; whether right or 
wrong, I leave others to determine. 


Besides the candidation of the executive, the 
duties of the Diet may be said to consist, in the 
making and altering of laws for the internal govern- 
ment of the country, the voting supplies of troops, 
the levying, but not voting, the contribution, and 
the conferring the Indigenat* or right of citizenship 
upon strangers. 

The Municipal Government of the counties and 
towns is nearly the same as that of Hungary, except 
among the Saxons, of whose form of local govern- 
ment we shall speak further hereafter. 

From the little we have said, it is easy to see how 
grossly the institutions of Transylvania have been 
violated; and one far better able to judge than 
we can possibly be, Baron Kemeny Denes, has 
publicly declared, " that of the whole Diploma 
Leopoldinum but one article has been faithfully 
observed, and that is the one stipulating that the 
general commanding the troops should be a Ger- 

The length of time which elapsed without the 
assembling of the States, and the consequent illegal 
appointment of all the chief officers; the neglect 
to call the county-meetings, and the want of legal 

* Although the king can make any Hungarian peasant noble, 
he cannot confer on a foreigner, not even on an Austrian subject, 
the rights of Hungarian nobility ; this power, both in Hungary 
and Transylvania, the Diet reserves to itself. The Indigenat tax 
in Hungary two thousand, and in Transylvania one thousand 
ducats is often remitted as a compliment to the person on whom 
the right of citizenship is conferred. 


sanction to all the municipal proceedings, were fast 
destroying in the minds of the people all confidence 
in the faith of the Government, all trust in its officers, 
and almost all respect for the laws they administered. 
A corrupt bureaucracy, whose interest it was to 
maintain this order, or rather disorder, of things, 
because by its illegality alone could its members 
exist, was fast demoralizing the country by an ex- 
hibition of the basest subserviency to power, and of 
the most open contempt for every principle of 
honour and honesty. 

Fortunately the very excess of its viciousness 
was the cause of saving the country. A number 
of well-meaning men, who had consented to aid 
Joseph in his constitutional violence, because they 
saw it associated with so much that was enlightened 
and good, shrunk with horror from a system which 
alike violated the rights of the nation, and the 
rights of man. The staunch Conservative party, 
which had never been juggled out of its consistency 
by any pretence of amelioration, and which loved 
old things because they were old, still hated the 
innovators, however they might otherwise have 
liked their principles; and besides these, a new 
party had arisen far more powerful than all the 
others. The progress made in the West of Europe, 
during the last quarter of a century, in the esta- 
blishment of rational freedom, was not without its 
effect even in this distant part of the globe. In 
vain the youth of Transylvania were forbidden to 


exercise their ancient privilege of visiting foreign 
universities; in vain the strictest censorship en- 
deavoured to suppress and mutilate the truth ; 
liberal facts, and liberal principles found their way 
into the country, and a Liberal party was gradually 
formed. By this party the ancient institutions 
were all the more closely cherished, because they 
were free; nor were there wanting among them 
those who felt that stronger guarantees were re- 
quired for the observance of these institutions, and 
above all, that it was necessary to extend the pri- 
vileges, now exclusively enjoyed by the nobles, to 
the other classes of society. The greater portion 
of this party, however, have no higher wish than to 
return to the strict letter of the constitution, as 
enjoyed by their ancestors, and sworn to by the 
Emperor, and they claim therefore for themselves 
the title of conservatives, and denounce their ad- 
versaries as destructives. 

The events of 1830, which shook all Europe to 
its basis, gave a voice, in Transylvania, to those 
feelings of discontent which had been long enter- 
tained in secret, and the country, as with one accord, 
demanded that the county-meetings should be sum- 
moned, and a Diet called together. 

A really strong popular feeling rarely wants a 
good leader to direct its expression ; in Transylvania 
such a leader was found in Baron Wesselenyi 
Miklos. In addition to the advantages of rank 
and fortune, Wesselenyi possesses so much energy 


and courage, so much truth and sincerity, and 
withal an eloquence so powerful, that it is not 
astonishing he was soon acknowledged as the head 
of the party. 

The first point conceded by Government was 
the county-meetings, and these were immediately 
taken advantage of to give expression to public 
opinion. In the absence of a free press, these 
meetings were of the greatest importance ; they 
operated as safety valves, which, while they may 
have given vent to some useless vapour, served to 
inform the observer under how great a pressure the 
machine was labouring. 

Wessele*nyi, and a party of his friends, purchased 
small portions of land in every county, that they 
might have the right of attending, and of speaking 
at every public meeting. They had no lack of 
matter for the exercise of their oratory ; the uncon- 
stitutional procedure of withholding the Diet, the 
consequent illegal appointment of the great officers, 
and the neglect of municipal privileges, were 
all subjects for eloquent declamation. Then, too, 
since the last Diet, no less than twenty thou- 
sand soldiers had been raised in Transylvania with- 
out the consent of the nation. The taxes, 
that subject which touches the most indifferent, 
and in which some men believe the whole science 
of politics to consist, were open enough to 
animadversion; for from the 300,000 florins sti- 
pulated in the Diploma, they had been arbitrarily 


raised to upwards of a million and a half.* The 
salt tax too, which the Government had been 
allowed to increase during the war, still continued 
at the war rate after fifteen years of peace. The 
export and import duties, which the Diploma ex- 
pressly declared should not be altered, had been 
raised so high as to be prohibitory. 

The grievances of the Protestants were deep, and* 
from their numbers and intelligence, of much im- 
portance : they demanded that they should enjoy 
their rights, and be admitted to places of trust and 
profit equally with the Catholics ; they objected to 
the forced observance of Catholic holidays, and 
they protested against the injustice of forcing the 
Catholics, who wished to become Protestants, to 
undergo six weeks' instruction from a priest, while 
the Protestant was received into the Catholic 
church without the slightest difficulty being thrown 
in his way. 

The Szeklers were discontented that one por- 
tion of their nation were obliged both to serve in 
the army and to pay taxes ; and the Saxons even 
the quiet submissive Saxons were not without 
their griefs. Their municipal constitution had been 
completely changed, and instead of being governed 

* The exact amount of the present contribution is not known. 
The mode of levying it has been completely changed ; a fixed 
sum is paid by the peasant for his land per acre, and for his 
cattle, sheep, &c., so much per head, without any relation to any 
stipulated agreement, so that the tax goes on increasing in amount 
probably every year. 


by officers freely elected by the people, they found 
themselves delivered over to the tender mercies of 
a self-elected bureaucracy. 

These, and a host of minor abuses, which had 
crept into the administration from the want of 
due popular control, formed the subject-matter 
of the harangues of Wesselenyi and his friends, 
and they were insisted on with a degree of courage 
and energy which lent force to their acknowledged 
truth. The Liberals carried the day at almost every 
meeting at which they presented themselves ; peti- 
tions and remonstrances, more loud and more angry 
as delay exhausted the patience of the petitioners, 
crowded the archives of the Chancery : petitions 
and remonstrances soon grew into demands, and 
demands at last assumed the form of threats. Ba- 
ron Wesselenyi publicly announced his intention to 
allow no soldiers to be levied on his estates till a 
Diet had been granted. Not only individuals, but 
several counties follow his example. 

In the mean time Baron Josika, the Court nomi- 
nated governor, overlooking the legal and constitu- 
tional character of the opposition, saw nothing but 
revolution in these demonstrations, and he is said 
to have written the most exaggerated reports of 
their danger to Vienna, and to have demanded a 
supply of troops to repress them. 

So violent a measure seems to have startled even 
the Court itself, and though troops were sent, they 
sent with them a commissioner, General Vlasits, 


with power to inquire into the state of the country, 
and to apply the necessary remedies to the existing 
evils. On a certain day the county-meetings were 
assembled in every part of Transylvania, and an 
edict of the Crown was published, denouncing the 
decision of the former meetings, as illegal and 
null, and promising them a Diet and the reform 
of abuses, on condition of their retracting the 
offensive resolutions. 

Although several of the counties refused to adopt 
this suggestion and stultify their former acts, Gen- 
eral Vlasits reported the country to be in perfect 
tranquillity, and the reports of the revolution, which 
he had been sent down to quell, without a shadow 
of foundation. The conduct of Vlasits though en- 
trusted with so delicate a mission, secured for him 
even the respect and esteem of those most strongly 
opposed to him ; but by the Court, his efforts were 
not favourably regarded, and he was shortly after- 
wards recalled. 

The moment, however, was now come when it 
was thought no longer safe to resist the popular 
wish. The Court knew full well that Wessele'nyi* 

* A short time previous to this, when Wesselenyi was attend- 
ing a levee of the Emperor at Presburg, the sovereign, in making 
his round of the circle, stopped opposite our Transylvanian, already 
distinguished as a Liberal leader, and, shaking his head very omi- 
nously, addressed him, " Take care, Baron Wesselenyi, take care 
what you are about ! recollect that many of your family have been 
unfortunate !" (His father was confined for seven years in the 
Kuffstein.) " Unfortunate, your majesty, they have been, but ever 


was a man to keep his word, the counties too were 
firm in supporting him, and, under such circum- 
stances, a collision, in which the nobles would ap- 
pear as the protectors of the peasantry, was to be 
avoided at any price. A Diet was granted. 

In 1834 then, the Transylvanian Diet was again 
called together, after an interval of twenty-three 

The election returns left no doubt as to the state 
of opinion in the country, even if any could have 
been entertained before. The members of both 
towns and counties were, with few exceptions, 
liberal. The Regalists, by office, as well as the 
Regalists by royal appointment, were also strongly 
tinctured with the same opinions ; and, consequently, 
the governor with his little band of faithful officials, 
saw before him nothing but the melancholy pro- 
spect of a certain defeat. 

It is necessary that the Diet should be opened 
by a royal commissioner; and the person chosen 
for this purpose was the Arch-duke Ferdinand 
d'Este, the brother of the Duke of Modena, and a 
near relation of the Emperor. The influence which 

undeserving of their misfortunes also ! " was Wesselenyi's bold and 
honest answer. It is only those who know the habitual stiffness 
and decorum of an Austrian court that can conceive the consterna- 
tion into which the whole crowd was thrown by this unexpected 
boldness. Explanations were offered to Wesselenyi to soften down 
the harshness of the royal reproof, in hopes of bringing him to beg 
pardon ; but he could not apologise for having defended the honour 
of his family, even when attacked by his sovereign. 


the high rank of the commissioner might naturally 
be expected to exercise on the nobility, was pro- 
bably calculated upon as likely to strengthen the 
Court party ; but, unfortunately, the well-known 
sentiments of the Arch-duke in favour of ab- 
solutism, and the troops which soon followed his 
arrival gave his appearance among them so much 
the air of an attempt to overpower and control 
the freedom of their discussions, that it only in- 
creased the bitterness of feeling and party spirit 
by which the country was divided. 

Under such auspices the Diet opened. 

The length of time that had elapsed since the 
last Diet had, among other consequences, rendered 
doubtful many of the rights and privileges of the 
chamber. At the very outset, the Government 
disputed the right of the chamber to elect its own 
president, while the chamber refused to admit the 
nominee of the Government. 

This was but the beginning of a series of angry 
disputes, in which almost every constitutional ques- 
tion, in season or out of season, was dragged into 
the discussions ; for it was another evil of the long 
recess, that it had disaccustomed the leading mem- 
bers to those habits of parliamentary debate, and 
those forms of parliamentary business, on which 
the practical utility of a parliament so much de- 
pends. One of the most interesting of these ques- 
tions was, the publication of the debates, which 
the Arch-duke positively forbade, but which Wes- 


selenyi, by means of a lithographic press, still found 
means of carrying on. Another, perhaps, still more 
important question was, the manner in which the 
election of officers should take place, whether 
each of the twelve candidates should be chosen by 
an absolute majority or not the Liberals contend- 
ing for the absolute majority, by which alone they 
could exert some influence over the nomination of 
the Crown. At this period of the affair, the Diet 
sent a deputation of its members to wait upon the 
Emperor, to disabuse him of the falsehoods with 
which they believed his ministers and their spies 
had poisoned his ear against his faithful Transyl- 
vanians, and to prove to him that their objects, so 
far from revolutionary, all tended to the preservation 
only of their ancient rights and immunities. 

In the mean time, evil passions had been called 
into play, which rendered greater every day the 
separation between the two parties. Personal ani- 
mosity and private pique, ambitious vanity and 
wounded dignity, all conspired in turns, to em- 
bitter the debates. The conduct of Wessel^nyi 
himself was anything but conciliatory. With prin- 
ciples and views too far advanced, probably, both 
for the Government he wished to control, and the 
party he wished to lead, he grew only more un- 
compromising in their support, the more sharply 
they were attacked. It was in vain that Professor 
Szasz, that Count Bethlen Janos, and others of the 
Liberal party, endeavoured to moderate the de- 


mands of the ultras, or the mistrust and fears of 
the Absolutists. It was in vain, the more cautious 
inveighed against the danger of playing the lion's 
part with only the fox's strength ; Wesselenyi was 
not a man to yield, where he believed himself right, 
and he steadily refused to sacrifice a single principle 
on the plea of expediency. 

The political fever was now spreading far and 
wide, and the Arch-duke and the administration 
became so unpopular, that the waverers, the men of 
no opinion, threw themselves into the ranks of the 
opposition. The colleges, with all the enthusiasm 
of youth, added their voices to Wesselenyi's de- 
mand for liberty and justice. From the moun- 
tains of the hardy - Szeklers to the quiet vil- 
lages of the cautious Saxons, the cry for reform 
of abuses grew louder and louder. At such a mo- 
ment, a bold hand, a comprehensive mind, and an 
honest heart would at once have grappled with 
the difficulties, offered a frank reform of abuses, 
and gone in advance even of the expectations 
of the people in correcting acknowledged evils. 
In an instant the whole country would have been 
at the foot of the throne. No one would have 
ventured to oppose so fair a promise of good, 
and Transylvania would have overlooked a thou- 
sand past faults in the anticipation of a happy 

Such, unfortunately, was not the course pursued. 
On the 24th of May, Wessele'riyi had presented to 


the chamber his lithographic press, had claimed for 
it the protection of the country, and had seen it 
accepted with acclamations. A few hours later, 
and a proclamation from the Emperor had dis- 
solved the Diet, suspended the constitution, and 
nominated the Arch-duke absolute governor of 
the country ! 

A denouement so sudden and so unexpected, 
produced the most extraordinary sensation. Angry 
words were exchanged between the parties, and 
in the excitement of the moment, a sabre is said 
to have started from its scabbard ; but, fortu- 
nately, the leaders restrained these ebullitions of 
feeling, and the chamber separated in perfect 
quiet. What was their surprise on leaving the 
hall, to find the streets lined with troops, and 
everything bearing the aspect of a military de- 
monstration ? 

Intimidation was probably the object aimed at, 
for I will not for a moment suspect the Govern- 
ment of having wished to provoke a movement 
that they might thus dispose the more easily of 
their antagonists : the loyal and honourable cha- 
racter of the Arch-duke forbids such a suspicion, 
even should that of some of his counsellors pro- 
voke it. Intimidation was probably the sole ob- 
ject, but never was a purpose more signally 

It was immediately determined, that without 
any appeal to arms, the strongest moral opposi- 


tion should be offered to this act of constitutional 
violence. With one or two exceptions only, every 
man of character holding office under the Crown 
Lords-Lieutenant of counties, Privy Councillors, 
Secretaries of State at once threw up their 
appointments, declaring that they could no longer 
act with a Government that seemed to set all law 
and justice at defiance.* This was an unexpected 
blow ; the Court party had reckoned on the love of 
place being stronger than the love of principle a 
few years previously it would have been so and its 
disappointed rage seemed uncontrollable. Actions 
at law were commenced against the leaders of the 
Liberals before judges certain to condemn them ; 
injury and insult were heaped upon every member 
of the party, and their security and repose were 
placed entirely at the disposal of inveterate, and 
often unprincipled, enemies. 

These events took place in the spring of 1834 ; 
ind, in the autumn of 1835, everything remained 

it was placed in the first moments of distrust 
and violence. 

An extraordinary number of troops were still 
collected in and about Klausenburg, and were 
even quartered in the houses of the nobles. The 

* Among these, the principal were, Privy Councillors, Baron 
Kemeny Ferenz, and Szek Daniel : Lords-Lieutenant, Count 
Degenfeld, Baron Banffy Lszlo, Baron B&nffy Adam, and Ugron 
Istvan ; Secretaries, Count Bethlen Imre, Ugron and some 
others, besides a great number of inferior officers. 



Archduke Ferdinand remained apparently in mili- 
tary occupation of the country, for he had no 
position of authority recognised by the constitution. 
All the vacant places were filled up illegally, for 
no Diet had been summoned to give its list of 
candidates. With a few exceptions, the officers 
appointed were chosen from among the least 
respected persons in the country. The few men of 
honour among them declared publicly that they 
were ashamed of their associates ; and, worst of all, 
even the municipal constitution had been suspended, 
and consequently, all the magistrates, though fairly 
elected, had held their offices beyond the proper 
period, and all their acts were therefore illegal. 

During the whole of this time the greatest 
tranquillity prevailed, a tranquillity which con- 
founded the advocates of absolutism ten times more 
than would the most violent revolt. Incapable of 
understanding the confidence which freemen feel in 
the justice and righteousness of their cause, they 
cannot estimate, and therefore cannot oppose the 
moral courage which suffers in the full conviction, 
that its suffering will eventually work out a remedy 
for the evil. 

In such a state was the political horizon of 
Transylvania when we reached 




Transylvanian Roads. A Solitary Inn. Drg. Zsibo. Horse-- 
breeding. Old Transylvanian Breed. Count Banffy's Stud. 
English Breed. Baron Wesselenyi's Stud. A Cross. Babolna 
Arabs. Interesting Experiment. R6kotzy. Robot. Ride 
to Hadad. The Vintage. Transylvanian Wines. Oak 
Woods. Scotch Farmer. A Reformer's Trials. State of the 
Peasantry. Urbarium. Stewards. Establishments of the 
Nobles. Social Anomalies. Old Fashions The Dinner. 
Drive to Nagy Banya. Gipsies. Gold Mines. Private 
Speculations. Return. 

BEFORE the winter set in, there was yet a 
promise of a week or two of fine weather ; and 
we were recommended to avail ourselves of it, to 
visit some interesting objects in the north of the 

p 2 


I believe my duty, as an honest chronicler of my 
travels, would be to give the reader at least two 
pages of tirade against the bad roads of Transyl- 
vania ; for if I do not, how can I convey to him 
an impression of the misery we suffered while we 
were dragged over or rather through them? But 
lest he should grow as tired of hearing of them as 
we did of travelling on them, I will spare him the 
infliction, and content myself with saying that we 
now occupied three days in accomplishing what one 
day suffices for in summer. 

Our first halt was at a lone country inn a sort 
of caravansary in the desert for I do not recollect 
that we had seen a house for two hours before we 
reached it. About an acre of ground, forming the 
yard, was enclosed with a strong fence, and held 
the dwelling-house, the waggon-shed, some stables, 
and a well. A more solitary spot I have rarely 
seen; the hills all round were covered with a 
scanty pasture, the road was only a muddy track, 
and there were no signs of cultivation or habitation 
within a circuit of many miles. 

At Drag, which we did not reach till sometime 
after nightfall, we were hospitably entertained by 
the Seigneur of the place ; for we were obliged to 
have recourse to our letters of introduction here, 
the inns being really too bad. We were shown 
at Drag a large Roman statue of Jupiter, without 
the head, which had been discovered some miles 
off in the bed of a brook. It was of a rather coarse 

ZSIBO. 213 

white marble, probably obtained in the country, and 
of indifferent workmanship. 

One object of the route we had chosen in this 
excursion, was to enable us to visit Zsibo, the seat 
of Baron Wesselenyi Mi k 16s ; and we arrived there 
on the second evening. 

We did not expect to see the Baron himself at 
Zsibo, for we knew that he was an unwilling ab- 
sentee. Immediately after the stormy conclusion 
of the Diet, which we have related in the last chap- 
ter, Baron Wesselenyi had hastened into Hungary, 
where, as we have already seen, he was actively em- 
ployed in serving his country, while, in the mean- 
time his enemies commenced an action against him 
in Transylvania, for printing the Journal, and other 
less-important charges. Attacked by a severe 
illness, at Presburg, Wesselenyi was unable to 
answer the summons of the Court to appear, and, in 
spite of the certificates of his physicians, he was 
condemned for contumacy and a warrant of arrest 
issued against him should he return to Transylva- 
nia. Though he still remains free, the chief object 
was gained, that of driving him from the scene of 
his greatest influence; for, from that day, he has 
never been able to return to the country. His 
establishment, however, was still kept up as before, 
and his steward was there to show us over it. 

Besides other branches of industry, Baron Wes- 
selenyi has particularly devoted his attention to the 
breed of horses. If horse-breeding is a matter of 


interest to the Hungarian gentry, it is almost a pas- 
sion among those of Transylvania. I think Bethlen, 
in his " Ansichten von Siebenbiirgen," published at 
the beginning of this century, gives the names of 
no less than sixty celebrated studs in this small ter- 
ritory. The original, or rather the oldest breed of 
Transylvania, is probably that still found in the 
mountains of the Szekler Land, a small wiry horse, 
capable of enduring great fatigue, and easily fed, but 
deficient in size, power, and speed. These horses 
bear, in many respects, a great resemblance to our 
Welsh ponies. During the long occupation of the 
country by the Turks, a considerable intermixture 
of Arab blood took place, which, though it may 
have added something to the Transylvanian horse's 
speed and beauty, seems to have detracted from 
his strength and hardihood. 

Among a host of other evils, which the connec- 
tion between Spain and Austria brought on Hun- 
gary and Transylvania, one of the most permanent, 
if not the most serious, was the deterioration of the 
breed of horses. The Spanish horse, with consider- 
able beauty, at least to the unskilled eye, with 
extraordinary docility and a most pompous bearing, 
is, nevertheless, the very worst horse in Europe. 
The fashion of the Court, however, of course decided 
the fashion of the country, and till the present 
century the Spanish was the most esteemed blood. 
In fact, it was not ill-adapted to the wants of those 
times. When to be slow was to be dignified, when 


all grace centred in a minuet, and beauty took 
refuge in powder and hoops, it was but right that 
pomp should have its prancing steeds, which could 
curvet a whole hour without advancing a mile ; but 
in these waltzing, steaming, matter-of-fact days, 
nothing less than our full bloods can keep pace 
with modern restlessness, and they have accord- 
ingly been introduced into Transylvania, as well as 
into most other parts of Europe. 

There are still, however, some old-fashioned 
people who are content to move on as their fore- 
fathers did, the Court and its party more espe- 
cially the bishops, are said to monopolize this 
privilege in Hungary. To supply this taste some 
of the old studs are still maintained. The most 

jrfect is that of Count Banffy, at Bonczida, where 
everything corresponds so well with the historical 
character of its horses, that I cannot forbear a de- 
scription of it. The whole of one side of the court- 
yard of the castle is occupied by a superb stable, 
ornamented with sculpture, and entered by folding 
doors. The stable is composed of one vaulted hall, 
with stalls on either side, and a wide walk down the 
centre, the floor being boarded with oak. As we 
entered, the Stall-meister, in long jack-boots, and 
armed with a coach-whip, received us in due form, 
and ushered us into the presence of nearly a hun- 
dred horses, all with their heads turned towards us, 
ornamented with ribbons, and attended by grooms 
in full livery, with bouquets in their hats. After 


walking up and down this magnificent avenue list- 
ening to pedigrees, and admiring the beauty of the 
gallant steeds, we retired again to the court-yard 
to see them brought out. Two horses at a time 
were led to the door in long braided reins, and, on 
a given signal from the Stall-meister's whip, off 
they started, curvetting, neighing, and galloping, 
till they had made the tour of the court, when, at 
another signal, they came to a dead stand, at a 
certain spot where they remained as quiet as lambs, 
to be handled and examined from head to foot. 
It was impossible to see these horses, as they 
proudly stretched themselves out as if to show 
their points to the greatest advantage, and deny 
that they had much beauty about them ; as for 
their capability to endure fatigue, I cannot speak, 
but I fancy they are rarely exposed to such a trial. 
What is not least important, these horses are said 
to find a ready sale. A hundred pounds for a 
pair, as carriage horses, is considered a high price, 
even for the best of them. 

Baron Wesselenyi was the first who undertook to 
reform these matters, and though he began it with 
only a very few English mares and one horse, 
Cato, his ordinary stock stud now amounts to 
about two hundred. We went first of all into the 
paddock, where we found a promising herd of young 
things of different ages, from two to five, in ex- 
cellent condition, and carefully tended by keepers, 
like sheep by their shepherds. Those which most 


interested us, were a cross between the English 
full blood and the small Szekler mare, and an 
excellent hackney it seems to have produced. The 
mares were mostly powerful animals, admirably 
chosen for breeding speed and strength. 

On returning to the stables, we found thirty or 
forty horses up, and in condition for sale or work. 
There were some of them which left nothing to de- 
sire. I remember particularly one, a four years' colt, 
already nearly sixteen hands high, which looked 
as much like a hunter as ever I saw a horse. Baron 
Wessele*nyi is considered to sell his horses dear. 
The prices vary from about 401. for the half-bred 
Szeklers, to 250/. for thorough -bred entire horses. 
The four years' old gelding, just alluded to, was 
estimated at 80/. As soon as English horses be- 
come a little more common in this part of the 
world, I have no doubt that the best of them will 
be re-exported to England, the price of breeding 
and rearing being so much less here, and the de- 
mand for first-rate horses so far beyond the supply 
with us. The expense of keeping a horse in con- 
dition in this country, for twelve months, I have 
heard estimated at 10/. 

There are now probably not less than twenty 
studs in Transylvania, with a greater or less infusion 
of English blood. It is amusing enough to find, 
that there is a strong connection between breeds 
of horses and opinions in politics here. A young 
Liberal, the first thing on coming to his fortune, 


clears his father's stables of the old stock, and re- 
cruits anew from Zsibo : while the Absolutists ad- 
here religiously to the pompous useless steeds of 
their predecessors. So far does it go, that a man's 
politics are known by the cut of his horse's tail. 
As Baron H - overtook a party of Liberals, re- 
turning one dark night from a county-meeting, he 
was hailed as a friend ; for though they said they 
could not see his face, they knew by his horse's 
dock that he was of the right sort. 

Before I take leave of the horses, I must say a few 
words here of the Government studs in Hungary, 
of which Marshal Marmont has given so particular 
an account. Babolna, though not so large as Mezo 
Hegyes, was particularly interesting, at the time I 
visited it, from a new importation of Arabs which 
had just taken place. Babolna, is a complete mili- 
tary establishment, under the direction of a major 
of dragoons, aided by a certain number of officers, 
non-commissioned officers, and privates. They farm 
a large estate of more than seven thousand acres, 
from which they draw their supplies of corn, straw, 
and hay. The most interesting object to us was the 
Arab stud, which the major had himself just brought 
from the interior of Arabia. There were fourteen 
mares, and nearly as many horses. It is impossible 
for language to convey an idea of the beauty of 
some of these creatures. They are small, rarely 
exceeding fourteen hands ; but their strength and 
symmetry are perfect. There was one little mare, 


bright bay, which caught my eye, and so com- 
iletely fascinated me, that I could scarcely look at 
iy of the others after. Such depth of shoulder, 
ch bony fore-legs, such loins, and such quarters 
d hocks, it was never my fortune to see in so 
small a compass, or in such perfect proportion, 
before. The major was evidently pleased at my 
choice, for the bay mare was his favourite also : 
the more so, perhaps, from the difficulty he had 
found in getting possession of her. He had heard 
of her reputation long before he reached the tribe 
to which she belonged ; for, after a defeat, she had 
borne her master across the sandy wastes without a 
halt, an incredible distance, and actually arrived 
at the encampment of the tribe, six hours before 
any of the others who had commenced their flight 
at the same time. To induce an Arab to part 
with such a treasure was no easy matter; and 
long were the negotiations and high the bribes 
which enabled the major to secure this gem of the 
desert for his imperial master. 

In one part of the establishment, we were shown 
the summer day-rooms for the breeding stud, im- 
mense places, where some hundreds of mares and 
foals are turned in together, the floors being co- 
vered with straw above the horses' knees to protect 
their feet, and the walls lined with marble troughs, 
in which they receive their food. Notwithstanding 
the number let loose together, it is very rarely 
any accident happens ; indeed, from the constant 


presence of man with them, nothing can exceed 
the quietness of these creatures. We went among 
whole herds of them, and touched them without 
the least danger. The tenders always carry bread 
with them, and give a bit to the horse as a reward 
for good behaviour; and they consequently follow 
one about, poking their noses into one's hands and 
pockets with the docility of dogs. I was surprised 
to hear, that in these large buildings every horse 
knows his place, though it is quite undivided, and 
is as tenacious of it as an old bachelor of his chim- 
ney corner. 

A most interesting experiment is at present un- 
der trial at Babolna. Major Herbert is of opinion, 
that the size and strength of a horse does not de- 
pend on the race, but on the nourishment of the 
individual animal. In consequence of this opinion, 
and taking the Arab as the most perfect model 
of a horse for form and symmetry, he is desirous 
to confine his stud stock to the Arab blood, and 
trusts to his system of feeding for supplying the 
deficiency of size. When I saw Babolna, he had 
specimens of four and five years' old horses raised 
on this system ; and there was certainly a con- 
siderable change in their size compared with that 
of their sires. When this experiment commenced, 
however, he had no Arab dams in the stud, and 
the proof was therefore incomplete, for the mixed 
German and Spanish race, to which the old mares 
belonged, though faulty enough in other particulars, 


is not very small. Some of the double crosses 
where the sire, for two generations, was a small 
Arab were nearly fifteen hands, and, in other 
respects, good in form, and leaning much to the 
Arab in appearance. The system of feeding is 
nearly the same as that pursued with our racing 
stock, to let them nibble oats as soon as they 
can ; and for the first three or four years, instead 
of starving them on a bad pasture, to give them 
the best of everything. 

That the experiment will succeed to a certain 
extent, is, I think, evident, both from what I saw, 
and from the history of improvements introduced 
into the breeds of other animals, which have been 
generally produced by judicious selection and high 
feeding ; but whether the expanded Arab will retain 
the same symmetry of form, the same relative pro- 
portion of bone and body, and, above all, the same 
hardihood and endurance which distinguish the de- 
sert stock, appears very doubtful. The question is 
can the qualities of the English hunter be fed 
into the Arab form ? Nowhere can the experiment 
be so perfectly and satisfactorily settled as in one 
of these institutions, for the amount of food is fixed 
and weighed, the number on which the experiment 
is tried renders it independent of exceptions, and, 
above all, the character and interests of the gentle- 
men by whom it is conducted, place them above all 
suspicion of false play. For the present, however, 
it must be considered under trial. No English 



sportsman should pass through Hungary without 
visiting Babolna. The politeness with which Major 
Herbert showed us the whole establishment, though 
we presented ourselves entirely as strangers, and 
without introduction, requires our special thanks. 
The destination of the horses raised in the royal 
studs, is, to improve the breed in the different 
districts of the Austrian empire, among which they 
are distributed. If any remain above the number 
required for this purpose they are sold to officers 
for chargers, or even sent to the remount of the 

But to return to Zsibo. Zsibo is one of the 

very few houses I have yet seen in this part of the 
world which is really well situated. It occupies a 


large platform, at a considerable height above the 
village, and is backed by still higher hills, and sur- 
rounded by woods which shelter it from the north. 
Below it extends, on either side, the valley of the 
Szamos, and opposite a conical mountain rears its 
head, the scene of one of the most interesting 
events in Transylvanian history. It was on this 
mountain that Franz Rakotzy, II. the last native 
prince of Transylvania, took his stand, and wit- 
nessed the final defeat of his forces by the troops 
of Austria. 

Weak and vacillating as Rakotzy was, it is im- 
possible to read his adventurous history without 
interest, or to reflect on his fall, when deserted by 
his former friends and adherents, without pity. 
"Pro patria et libertate" was a noble inscription 
to place upon his coinage but it was sad to think 
that the coin itself was base : religious freedom was 
an object well worth contending for but it was 
difficult for one brought up a Jesuit to maintain it 
consistently ; mildness and justice were good quali- 
ties in a ruler, but weakness and indecision were 
destructive to the general. After years of civil war, 
in which Rakotzy sometimes seemed on the point 
of ascending the throne of Hungary, sometimes 
was threathened with annihilation by the quarrels 
amongst his own friends, he at last ended his 
troubled life a fugitive in Turkey. 

As we were passing from one part of the es- 
tablishment of Zsibo to another, we crossed a 

224 ROBOT. 

beautiful wood on the banks of the river, which is 
fenced in on all sides to protect the pheasants, with 
which it literally swarms, from the wolves and foxes. 
The proud birds were crowing from their perches on 
every side of us. The pheasant is yet a stranger in 
Hungary, and can only be kept in woods appropri- 
ated to the purpose of rearing them, where they 
are carefully fed, and in winter driven under cover, 
and shut up till the next spring. 

On our return by the farm-yard, we observed a 
very merry group of children and women occupied 
if such lazy work can be called occupation in 
pulling off the outer skins of the maize. A man 
stood over them to direct them and to enforce their 
attention but what can one man do against the 
mischief and fun of fifty women and children ? I 
was very much surprised to hear that these merry 
workers were sent as substitutes for husbands and 
fathers in the performances of a day's Robot. If a 
landlord gets but one hundred days' work such as 
this, for a year's rent for a farm of thirty acres, it 
is not very highly paid. I am sure ten of ours 
would be of more w r orth. The steward seemed to 
think this, however, but a very slight misfortune 
compared with others his master had to suffer : 
" Probably," he observed, " before the winter is 
over, these people will have eaten all this corn 
which they are now so lazily dressing. The harvest 
has been a scarce one here, and when that is the 
case, the peasants come on their landlords for sup- 


port, as if they had a right to it. It has frequently 
happened that the Baron has not been able to sell 
one grain of corn for a whole season, every particle 
of it having been required to keep his own tenantry 
alive, and sometimes he has been obliged to buy 
more in addition." This is a pretty good answer 
to the stupid accusation of ill treating his peasantry, 
which had been raised against Baron Wesselenyi ; 
an answer unneeded, however, for their prosperous 
and happy state, superior to almost any in the 
country, and their devoted affection to their master, 
rendered the accusation itself perfectly ridiculous. 
One of these very peasants walked all the way from 
Zsibo to Vienna, to present a petition to the Em- 
peror from some hundred of his fellows, that their 
lord and benefactor might be restored to them. 

We had spent so much time, that the day 
was well nigh past ere we had finished our drive 
round Zsibo, and we had still a considerable jour- 
ney before us. The steward, however, had sent the 
carriage forward early in the morning, and now 
offered us some of the half-bred Szeklers, that we 
might try if their deeds deserved the praises we 
had bestowed on their appearance. We got over 
to Hadad, our next station, in little more than two 
hours, through a woody and hilly country, often 
presenting views of the most perfect park-like 
scenery it is possible to fancy. What is the exact 
distance I know not, but we certainly put our little 
horses on their mettle, and arrived considerably 

VOL. n. Q 

226 HADAD. 

before the carriage which had started in the morn- 
ing. One of them, a small mare, with two crosses 
of English blood, was the most extraordinary trotter 
of her height I ever saw. She was sold soon after 
for about 60/. There never was a country more 
beautifully laid out for riding over than Transyl- 
vania ; without high mountains or hard roads, it 
is just sufficiently hilly to vary the surface, and 
twenty or thirty miles of uninterrupted springy- 
turf, glorious for galloping, is no great rarity. 
The advantage, too, is as great as the pleasure. 
From Hadad to Klausenburg, which takes always 
three days in winter for a carriage, has been ridden, 
by means of relays of horses, in less than six hours ! 
We arrived at Hadad at a fortunate moment; 
they had just begun the vintage, and our host, the 
young Baron W- F , who was a consider- 
able wine-grower, invited us the next day to see 
his vineyards. The vintage is always a merry scene 
in every country, apparently rather from the asso- 
ciations connected with its produce than from any- 
thing peculiar in the labour itself ; unless, indeed, 
we allow that the beauties of nature, in which the 
season of the vintage is so rich, has its effect even 
on the coarse nature of the peasant. I believe that 
such is the case, and moreover, that many an uncul- 
tivated soul which lacks words in which to clothe 
its feelings, is far more capable of appreciating the 
glories of God's works than the whole race of maud- 
lin town-bred poets who prate so loudly of them. 


After about an hour's gallop across some rich 
green meadows, in which the beautiful Baroness 
W accompanied us, for the ladies of Tran- 
sylvania almost rival our own as horse-women we 
arrived at the vineyard, situated on the slope of a 
small hill. There were about one hundred peasants 
employed in picking and carrying large baskets of 
the bright grapes to a small pressing-house near by. 
Beautiful groups they formed as we caught sight 
of them every now and then, half hid among the 
tall vines : there were young and old, men and 
women the village seemed to have sent out all 
its forces for the joyous occasion, and in dresses 
so picturesque too, that the artist's fancy could 
have desired no happier union of colour, form, or 

Leaving the Baroness in conversation with some 
of the old peasant women, the Baron beckoned us 
away, and led us alone to see the pressing process. 
I could not understand this mystery, but, like a 
wise man, held my tongue, and submitted, and it 
was well I did. In a number of large tubs we found 
a set of almost naked men dancing barefooted, with 
all their force, to the music of the bagpipes, on the 
heaps of fruit which the carriers were throwing into 
them. I did not wonder we were led to this place 
alone, for except in some of the Silenic processions 
of Poussin, I never saw so extraordinary a scene. 
And it is in this manner the whole wine of this 
country is prepared ! The Transylvanians, who are 

Q 2 


singularly delicate as to the cleanliness of their food, 
declare that every possible impurity is driven off in 
the fermentation the wine goes through after, and 
I was not sufficiently cruel to undeceive them. 
The great object of all this dancing seems to be to 
break the grapes, for they are afterwards subjected 
to the press. I need not say that a thousand simple 
mechanical contrivances might be substituted for 
this nasty process. It is reckoned that one man 
can dance about two hours, when his feet become 
so cold that he is forced to yield his place to an- 
other. In cold weather, hot wine is often poured 
over their legs to enable them to hold out longer, 
and spirits are allowed almost ad libitum. But the 
greatest support of the wine-presser is the bagpipe 
or fiddle, without which he could not continue his 
dancing half an hour. During the whole time, he 
dances the regular national step, and accompanies 
it with a song, which he improvises as he goes on. 
The usual termination of the vintage is a supper and 
a dance for the whole village. 

Transylvania is a country which will probably 
one day assume a high rank as a wine-growing 
district. It is almost entirely laid out in small 
hills, it is well watered, a great many of its strata 
are of volcanic origin, and the land itself is rather 
poor ; all circumstances which, united to its geogra- 
phical position, fit it for the purposes of the wine- 
grower. Although, even at the present time, no 
less than one-ninth of the whole population is 


said to live by the cultivation of the vine, nothing 
can be more careless than the actual method of 
wine-making. All kinds of grapes are mixed in- 
discriminately; no care is taken to separate the 
over-ripe and those yet green from the others ; and 
the process of pressing is, as I have described it, 
dirty and careless. The cultivation of the vine is 
equally neglected or ill-understood. Notwithstand- 
ing these disadvantages, however, there are already 
some score different kinds of wine which enjoy a 
well-deserved reputation. Their reputation, how- 
ever, is only provincial, for so little is this country 
known, that its wines are scarcely heard of, even 
among the Hungarians. They are mostly white 
wines, and are remarkable for their bouquet and 
flavour, as well as for considerable body. They are 
perhaps, less strong than the generality of the Hun- 
garian, but they are also less acid and thin than 
some of the finer white wines of that country. It is 
very characteristic of the state of commerce here, that 
there is not a single wine merchant in the country, 
and when at Klausenburg, we found it difficult to 
get even a tolerable wine to drink. Every gentle- 
man, nay, every respectable tradesman grows his 
own wine, and he would rather send a hundred 
miles off for it, than give hard cash to buy it of 
another on the spot. 

Some of the most celebrated wines of Transyl- 
vania, and those which it would be most worth the 
foreigner's while to inquire after, are those of the 


Szilagysag, the Kokel, and Maros. The wines of 
the Szilagysag are celebrated for their strength and 
durability. They are chiefly white wines of a plea- 
sant flavour, full-bodied, and when new, are very 
heady. The highest price, in an ordinary year, of 
the better sorts is about two shillings per eimer 
(sixteen bottles). The best are those of Tasnad and 
Szordemeter. In the valley of the Maros, the 
wines of Rozsamal, Malom-Falva, Czelna, Gures- 
zada, Macsa, Oklos, and Babolna, are most sought 
after; and again, in the valley of the Kokel, or 
Kukiillo, those of Dombo and Bocacs. The Kokel 
wines are less strong than those of the Szilagysag 
and Maros, but perhaps more wholesome, and 
equally well-flavoured. 

Baron W , when in France, had engaged a 

French vigneron to come and stay with him some 
years, in order to try if he could make champagne 
from the grapes of Transylvania. We had frequent 
opportunities of tasting the wine he produced, and 
though it was much too strong and heavy for cham- 
pagne, it was sparkling and pleasant, far better than 
the stuff we had often drunk under that name in 
other countries. 

On our return, we visited a small farm of about 
three hundred acres, which our host had laid out a 
year or two before, on the system of rotation crops, 
and which was under the management of a clever 
Scotch bailiff. We found the Scotchman, a giant 
specimen of his countrymen, hard at plough, grum- 


bling of course, as we all do, when abroad, at every- 
thing foreign, from the very soil to the people it 
nourishes. He was very proud, however, to show 
us his barns, his stacks, his fat oxen, and his huge 
potatoes, one of which filled a large dish of itself; 
but he inveighed most bitterly against the laziness 
of the poor peasants. He already spoke a jumble 
of various languages, by means of which, and his 
heavy fists, he managed to make himself under- 
stood by Magyars, Wallacks, and Germans, with 
all of whom he had to do. A short time previously 
he had made rather too free a use of this latter 
organ ; for, on some of the peasants attacking one 
of the Baron's officers, to get at the wine he was 
distributing to them, the Scotchman rushed in and 
made such good use of his strength, that some of 
them were laid up for months after. I could easily 
believe when I saw him, that a blow from his arm 
was quite sufficient to annihilate a poor half-starved 
Wallack peasant. 

Though the quantity of labour required by the 
Scotchman, and the expensive processes by which 
he cultivated, rendered it doubtful how far his 
farming would be profitable in the end, the Baron 
confessed that the amount of produce was enor- 
mous, and that he received as much hay and corn 
from these three hundred acres, as he had formerly 
received from the fourteen thousand, of which his 
estate consists. Many of the oak woods through 
which we passed, were, he said, almost useless. 


They furnished firewood, gall-nuts, acorns for the 
pigs, and as many casks as he required for his wine, 
but of net revenue he derived scarcely anything 
from them. 

About two thousand Merino sheep, which he 
had just purchased, as a commencement of a flock, 
promised something better. Beyond the first cost, 
the expense of shepherds, and the gathering of win- 
ter keep, he might reckon what they brought in as 
clear profit, for the land they grazed on was of no 
other value to him. Should a corn trade ever open 
with England the case will alter, but at present the 
low price of wheat, and frequently the impossibility 
of disposing of it, renders its cultivation a hazard 
and often a loss. With but little increase of ex- 
pense, the Baron reckoned he could graze ten thou- 
sand sheep, to which number he hoped shortly to 
increase his flock. 

As we approached the village, the Baron led the 
way over some pretty good fences, to show us a field 
of clover, of which the second crop was just cut. 
This had been one of his earliest agricultural im- 
provements, for in spite of the quantity of land he 
possesses, he was formerly often in absolute want of 
hay and straw for his own horses in winter. On 
many Transylvanian gentlemen's farms, it is no un- 
common thing to hear of horses and cattle dying of 
starvation, if the winter is severe or a few weeks 
longer than usual. This crop of clover had been 
looked upon, therefore, as a treasure, and conceive 


his disappointment to hear one morning, just as 
the first cutting was ready for the scythe, that the 
peasants had broken down the fences, turned all 
the cattle of the village into the field, and com- 
pletely destroyed the whole crop. The starved 
cows devoured this novel luxury so greedily that 
they almost all died in consequence. Vexed as 
our friend was at this piece of malice, he was even 
more astonished the next day to hear that no less 
than thirty of these same peasants had commenced 
suits against him for having planted poisonous herbs 
to kill their cattle ! Ignorance is a sad enemy to 

Baron W assured us this was only one of 

a series of malicious injuries which he had brought 
on himself by his attempts to improve the state 
of his own property, and the condition of his 
peasantry. " I have diminished the time of their 
labour," he observed ; " I have lessened the 
amount of their payments ; I have forbidden my 
stewards and others to have any peasant punished 
without a trial before the magistrates of the dis- 
trict, and instead of gratitude, I meet with nothing 
but injury from them ; they look at all these at- 
tempts as so many signs of folly and weakness on 
my part." 

On further inquiry we found the peasants of 
Transylvania in a far worse condition, and much 
more ignorant than those of Hungary. When Maria 
Theresa forced the Urbarium on the nobles of 


Hungary, she published certain Regulations Punkte, 
founded on nearly the same principles, for the go- 
vernment of the peasants of Transylvania. Whether 
it was that these Punkte were not adapted to the 
state of the country, or whether its greater distance 
from the central power allowed the nobles to evade 
their adoption, it is certain they never obtained 
the same force as the Urbarium, nor have any suc- 
ceeding attempts to improve their condition met 
with a better result. The Transylvanians say they 
are ready and anxious to do everything that is right 
and just, provided only it is done in a constitutional 
form, through the intervention of the Diet.* In the 
mean time the state of the peasantry is a crying 
evil, and one which, if not speedily remedied by 
the nobles, will be remedied without their consent, 
either by the Government or by the people them- 
selves ; and I fear the sympathy of Europe will 
scarcely be in favour of those who oppose such a 
measure of justice. 

The frightful scenes which took place under the 
leadership of Hora and Kloska, two Wallacks, who 
in 1784, raised the peasants of Transylvania in re- 
volt, are still fresh in the memory of the Transyl- 
vanians, and may serve as a warning of what an 
injured people are capable, when expectations of re- 
dress are held out to them, and then disappointed. 

* The Diet of 1837 nominated a commission to prepare an 
Urbarium for Transylvania, but I cannot yet (1839) hear that 
anything has been done. 


It is said that Joseph actually promoted the insur- 
rection of Hora and Kloska, and it is certain that 
military aid was not sent to repress it so quickly as 
it might have been ; but I do not believe the accu- 
sation of intentional excitement. Independently of 
the improbability that one, whose chief fault was 
too much openness and honesty, should resort to 
such base means, I think the mere belief that the 
Government was favourable to their claims, and the 
nobles opposed to them, when aided by the false 
^presentations of designing leaders, would be quite 
sufficient to cause such events among such a popu- 
lation at any time. During the late popular move- 
ment it has been the policy of the opposition to 
attach the peasantry to their party by any means in 
their power, and I feel certain that as hopes of 
amendment have been raised,* it is now the interest 
and the duty of the opposition to see that these 
hopes are not deceived, be the sacrifice on their 
part what it may. 

Among the greatest evils of which the Transyl- 

* I have since heard that on the publication of the Hungarian 
Urbarium, the peasants, in every village of Tranjylvania, sent de- 
puties to purchase copies of it for themselves, and paid the priests 
to translate and explain it, and that there is not a village in Tran- 
sylvania now without a copy of this act. I have been surprised to 
hear a member of the Liberal party talk of this as a conspiracy, 
and declare that the peasants ought to be punished for it ! Such, 
I am sure, are not the opinions of the leaders of that party ; if 
they were, I should be one of the first to say it was high time that 
the Government interfered to check a liberty which manifested 
itself only in enslaving others. 


vanian peasant has to complain, is the absence of 
any strict and well-defined code of laws to which 
he can refer, and, in consequence of that deficiency, 
his almost entire subjection to the arbitrary will of 
his master, against which he has nothing but cus- 
tom to urge in defence. The peasant-land too, has 
never been classed here as in Hungary, accord- 
ing to its powers of production, nor has the size 
of the peasant's portion, or fief, been ever accu- 
rately determined. The amount of labour there- 
fore, cannot be fairly and legally proportioned to 
the quantity and value of the land. Nor is the 
amount of labour itself better regulated. In some 
parts of the country it is common to require two 
days a week ; in others, and more generally, three 
are demanded; and in some the landlord takes as 
much as he can possibly extract out of the half- 
starved creatures w r ho live under him. Here, too, 
the flogging-block is in full vigour; every landlord 
can order any of his tenants or servants, who 
may displease him, twenty-five lashes on the spot, 
and it is generally the first resource which occurs 
to him in any disputes about labour or dues. 
But it is in the hands of the underlings, the 
stewards, bailiffs, inspectors, a flock of hawks 
which infest every Hungarian estate, that this 
power becomes a real scourge to the poor peasant. 
It is the custom to pay these officers an exceed- 
ingly small sum in ready money, as a salary, 
so small indeed that it would be impossible for 


them to live decently upon it ; it is conse- 
quently obliged to be made up by the addition of 
some land, or by the permission to feed a certain 
number of cattle, or horses, or to sell a certain 
quantity of corn on their own account. Now to 
cultivate this land, or to carry this corn to market, 
labour is required, and this they generally manage 
to get out of the peasantry without payment, either 
by threats of punishment for slight or imaginary 
offences, or by applying for themselves what ought 
to be given to their masters. Generally both these 
means are used, the master is robbed, and the 
peasant ill-treated. 

From the manner in which estates are commonly 
divided in Transylvania, it is nearly impossible for 
the landlords to escape from the clutches of these 
bailiffs. Every son has an equal share in the male 
estates, and every child in the female estates of a 
family. This equality of right in each individual 
estate, is often the cause of great inconvenience, 
for the same person might have a few acres only in 
twenty different villages, when the expense and 
difficulty of management would exceed the revenue. 
Of course, the most natural remedy is an equitable 
division among the members of the family them- 
selves ; and, where this can be effected, it is well ; 
but, where it cannot, their only remedy is culti- 
vating in common, and dividing the profits. In 
such cases almost the entire management rests in 
the hands of the stewards, and this complication, 


together with the endless law-suits to which it 
gives rise, is one of the greatest evils to which 
both the landlord and peasant of Transylvania are 

The ignorance of the Transylvanian peasant is 
of the deepest dye. He is generally superstitious 
and deceitful, the two greatest signs of ignorance. 
These qualities are most conspicuous in the Wai- 
lack peasantry, but the Magyars are by no means 
free from them. Schools are extremely rare. It is 
only here and there that they have been established 
by the good sense and liberality of the Seigneur, 
and even then they have often failed for want of 
a little caution and perseverance in those who have 
conducted them. The peasants belonging to the 
Greek church are undoubtedly the most ignorant, 
those of the Unitarian and Lutheran churches, the 
best educated. 

We entered some of the Magyars 1 cottages at 
Hadad, and though they were superior to the Wai- 
lack huts of Varhely, they were still very inferior 
to those we had visited in Hungary. It is rare 
that the Transylvanian peasant's cottage has more 
than two rooms, sometimes only one ; his furniture 
is scanty and rude, his crockery coarse, and those 
little luxuries, which in the Hungarian denoted a 
something beyond the needful, are rarely seen in 
Transylvania. There is an air of negligence too 
about his house ; his fence is broken, his stable out 
of repair, and everywhere there is a want of that 


thrifty look which declares that a man thinks he 
has something worth taking care of, and hopes to 
make it better. 

The peasants of the Szilagysag have not the best 
of characters. Though allowed to be fine, brave, 
independent fellows, they are reckoned among the 
most desperate rogues in the country. No Szilagy- 
sag man thinks it a disgrace to have been flogged, 
but, to have shrunk under a flogging. 

The life of a country gentleman in Transylvania, 
though somewhat isolated by his distance from any 
large capital, and by the badness of the roads, is by 
no means without its pleasures. For the sportsman, 
a large stud of horses few men have less than 
from ten to twenty, every variety of game from 
the boar and wolf, to the snipe and partridge, and 
a boundless range for hunting over, are valuable 
aids for passing time. If a man likes public busi- 
ness, the county will readily choose him Vice Ispan 
or magistrate, and the quarterly county-meetings 
are a constant source of interest, and afford ample 
opportunity of exercising influence. If agriculture 
has any charms, some thousands of untilled acres 
offer abundant scope for farming, and promise a 
rich return for capital. If philanthropy has claims 
on his heart, the peasantry, who look up to him 
for almost everything, afford a fine scope for its 
effusions, and a certain reward if judiciously and 
continuously exercised. 

The houses of the richer nobles are large and 


roomy, and their establishments are conducted on a 
scale of some splendour. It is true, that they are 
deficient in many things which we should consider 
absolute necessaries, but on the other hand they 
exhibit many luxuries which we should consider ex- 
travagant with twice their .incomes. It is no un- 
common thing, for instance, in a one-storied house 
with a thatched-roof and an uncarpeted floor, to be 
shown into a bed-room where all the washing appa- 
ratus and toilet is of solid silver. It is an every-day 
occurrence in a house, where tea and sugar are con- 
sidered expensive luxuries, to sit down to a dinner of 
six or eight courses. Bare white- washed walls and 
rich Vienna furniture ; a lady decked in jewels which 
might dazzle a Court, and a handmaid without shoes 
and stockings ; a carriage and four splendid horses, 
with a coachman whose skin peeps out between his 
waitcoat and inexpressibles, are some of the ano- 
malies which, thanks to restrictions on commerce, 
absence of communication, and a highly artificial 
civilization in one part of the community, and great 
barbarism in the other, are still to be found in 
Transylvania. It is not, however, in such houses 
as the one in which we were visiting, that such 
anomalies are to be sought, but rather in those 
who boast themselves followers of the " good old 
customs of the good old times." But laugh as 
we young ones may at those " old times," it is not 
altogether without reason that the epithet of 
"good," so pertinaciously clings to them. There 


is something so sincere and so simple in the manners 
of those times, when an Englishman wishes to 
express his idea of them he calls them homely, 
and in that word he understands all that his 
heart feels to be dearest and best, that see them 
where we may, they -have always something to 
attach and interest us. 

In some of the old-fashioned houses in Transyl- 
vania, there is still almost a patriarchal simplicity 
in the habits of the family. An early hour sees all 
the children, from the eldest to the youngest, ay, 
the married ones too proceed in due order of 
progeniture to the presence of their parents, whose 
hands they respectfully kiss and from whom they 
receive the morning blessing. After a simple 
breakfast of one small cup of coffee and cream, 
and a slice of dry bread, the family disperses for 
the business of the day. The children are left to 
their masters and governesses and, oh, what a 
nuisance those same masters and governesses are; 
I have heard of no less than six living in one 
family in the country at the same time. The 
master of the house takes his meerschaum, ready 
filled and lighted from the hands of his servant, 
and sallies out, accompanied by his steward, bailiffs, 
and overseer, to give directions for the cultivation 
of his estate, or to settle the lawsuits of his pea- 
santry; or, perhaps, the county-meeting calls him 
into town, and then he wraps himself up in his 
bunda, gets into his carriage, and four fat horses 



convey him to his destination. Or it may be, the 
doctor has come over to see after the health of the 
family, and the seigneur takes that opportunity to 
lead him round the village, that he may bleed and 
physic all those who have wanted it for the last 
three months, or who are likely to want it for the 
next three months to come.* Or, perhaps, some 
quarrels amongst the peasantry, or some disobedi- 
ence to his orders, have provoked the terrible anger 
of the master, and he at once assumes the authority 
of the judge, and condemns and punishes, where 
he himself is a party in the cause. Or, perhaps, 
the Jew merchant humbly waits an audience, and 
with shining gold tempts him to dispose of the 
coming vintage. And then the stables have to be 
visited, and the cooper to be hurried for the vin- 
tage, and the gipsies in the brickyard to be cor- 

But, if the occupations of the lord are many, 
who shall tell the busy cares and troubles of the 
lady of the "good old times?" With not less than 
one hundred mouths to provide food for daily, with 
no resources of a market- town near at hand, with 
stores, consequently, of provisions for six months 
to be taken care of, and these provisions too of a 

* A worthy old Baron, now dead, used to have the doctor over 
every spring and autumn with a waggon-load of herbs. These 
herbs, duly decocted and distilled, were administered to the whole 
family and village, which were then considered sound for six 
months to come. 


variety* and quantity such as English housekeepers 
can form no idea of, and which I unfortunately, 
am very inadequate to describe ; with a crowd of 
servants, including artificers! of various kinds, to 
superintend and direct, the multiplicity of her 
duties may be indistinctly guessed. If somewhat 
less elegant, and less accomplished than the more 
fashionable ladies of the capital, these worthy house- 
wives are never deficient in that respectable dignity 
which a strict performance of the duties of their 
station confers. 

At one, the old-fashioned family, even of the 
present day, assemble in the drawing-room, and 
proceed to dinner. It is rarely that they sit down 
without some guest ; for, whoever of their acquaint- 
ance happens to be travelling near, always manages 
to drop in about dinner-time, as he knows he will 
be well-received; indeed, his passing by without 
stopping, would be considered an insult. And a 
goodly sight is that hospitable board, for it is 

* Among other objects strange to us, might be mentioned the 
collection of snails. The large wood-snail is a favourite dish here, 
and a very good one it is. The snails are drawn out of the shell, 
cut small with a kind of savoury stuffing, and served up re- 
placed in the shell. As for their being disgusting, it is all fancy. 
I have seen delicate ladies relish snails exceedingly, who would 
have shuddered at the sight of a raw oyster. In some parts of 
Transylvania, instead of eggs and fowls, the peasants pay their 
tribute in snails and game. One lady's ordinary winter supply 
was upwards of five thousand snails. 

t In some houses, the weaver and tailor are hired servants ; 
and in most, the cooper, baker, and smith. 

R 2 


crowded by those who might otherwise be ill pro- 
vided for. Besides the family and guests, all the 
governesses and masters dine at table; and then 
there are three or four stewards and secretaries, 
and the clergyman of the village, or perhaps both 
clergyman and priest, and the poor schoolmaster, 
all of whom never dine at home when the seigneur 
is in the country. 

The dinner, instead of being placed on the 
table, is carried round, that every one may help 
himself, each dish being first presented to the lady 
of the house who never fails to take a small 
portion by way of recommending it to her guests. 
As for telling the reader of what the dinner is 
composed, it is impossible ; but I can assure him, 
that both in quality and quantity, he must be very 
difficult to please who is not satisfied. The elite 
of the company retire to the drawing-room, after 
dinner, to partake of coffee and liqueur, while 
the inferior guests, who have not the entree, make 
their bows and depart. When speaking of the 
occupations of the ladies of Transylvania, it would 
be very ungrateful were I to omit their talent in 
making liqueurs ; some of the home-made liqueurs 
of Transylvania equal the best marasquinos 
and curaqoas in flavour. A drive out in the 
cool of the evening in summer, and embroidery, 
cards, books, and conversation, with the inter- 
lude of a goute composed of fruits, preserves, sa- 
voury cold meats, and, now-a-days, tea, and at 


nine, a supper nearly as large as the - dinner, com- 
plete the occupations of a day in the country in 

But it is high time I returned to our travels. 

Baron W kindly offered to accompany us to 

Nagy Banya, just beyond the north frontier of 
Transylvania, to visit the gold mines there. It is 
a good day's journey, even in summer, and the only 
chance of accomplishing it at this season, was by 
sending on beforehand, half way, a light carriage, 
so that the horses might be rested, and ready to 
go forward directly we arrived. 

We started on horseback ; and after a delight- 
ful ride, sometimes winding through fine forests 
of oak, now crossing a rich green meadow, now 
losing ourselves and making straight across the 
country for the nearest village, to inquire our 
way, and now toiling along a muddy lane where 
the horses sunk almost up to the middle in the 
mire, we at last arrived where the carriage was 
waiting for us. The greatest drawback to the 
pleasure of such a ride is the danger of injuring 
one's horse in crossing the rude wooden bridges 
which are thrown over the brooks in this country. 
They are composed of unhewn stems of trees 
laid side by side with a coating of soil over them. 
From accident or carelessness, nothing is more 
common than to find a considerable interstice be- 
tween these stems, which is concealed by the soil, 
and so becomes a veritable pitfall. My horse put 


his foot into one of these, and sank up to the 
shoulder ; but, fortunately, he escaped without 

In the course of our ride, in a small valley a little 
off the road, the Baron showed me a colony of 
gipsies, permanent, as he said, in contradistinction 
to others who are always erratic, who occupy a 
little land, and do him some work for it. The 
reader may have remarked that I do not hesitate 
here, as well as in other parts of this Work, to 
speak of the Czigany of the Hungarians by the 
English name of gipsies, for it is impossible to 
doubt their identity. There is the same dark eye 
and curling black hair, the same olive complexion 
and small active form. Then their occupations and 
manner of life, different as are the countries and 
climates they inhabit, still remain the same ; fid- 
dling, fortune-telling, horse-dealing, and tinkering 
are their favourite employments, a vagabond life 
their greatest joy. Though speaking several tongues, 
they have all a peculiar language of their own, quite 
distinct from any other known in Europe. Here, 
as with us, they have generally a king too, whom 
they honour and respect, but I have not been 
able to make out what establishes a right to the 
gipsy crown. I believe superior wealth, personal 
cunning, as well as hereditary right, have some 
influence on their choice. 

They first made their appearance in this country 
from the East, about the year 1423, when King 


Sigmund granted them permission to settle.* 
Joseph the Second tried to turn them to some 
account, and passed laws which he hoped would 
force them to give up their wandering life and be- 
take themselves to agriculture. The landlords were 
obliged to make them small grants of land, and to 
allow them to build houses at the end of their 
villages. I have often passed through these Czi- 
gany vdros, gipsy towns, and it is impossible to 
imagine a more savage scene. Children of both 
sexes to the age of fourteen, are seen rolling 
about with a mere shred of covering, and their 
elders with much less than the most unfastidious 
decency requires. Filth obstructs the passage into 
every hut. As the stranger approaches, crowds of 
black urchins flock round him, and rather demand 
than beg for charity. The screams of men and 
women, and the barking of dogs for the whole 
tribe seems to be in a state of constant war- 
fare never cease from morning to night. It is 
rare, however, that when thus settled, they can re- 
main the whole year stationary ; they generally dis- 
appear during a part of the summer, and only 
return when winter obliges them to seek a shel- 
ter. Others wander about as they do with us, 

* In Hungarian law they are called "new peasants." The 
name of Pharaoh nepek, Pharaoh's people, I imagine has been 
given either from contempt, or error. The name Czig&ny, by 
which the Hungarians call them, is so like the Zingari, Zigeuner, 
Gitani, Gipsy, of other nations, that I have no doubt it is the one 
they originally gave themselves. 


gaining a livelihood, as accident throws it in their 
way. They are said to amount to sixty-two thou- 
sand three hundred and fifteen in Transylvania.* 
The Austrian Government, I believe, is the only 
one in Europe which has been known to derive any 
advantage from its gipsies, but by means of the 
tax for gold washing, to which we shall allude 
hereafter, it must derive a considerable revenue 
from this people. They are often taken for sol- 
diers, and are said to make pretty good ones. 
Most of them are christened and profess some 
religion, which is always the seigneur's not the 
peasants' of the village to which they belong. 
In fact the gipsies have a most profound respect 
for aristocracy, and they are said to be the best 
genealogists in the country. 

Their skill in horse- shoeing, they are the 
only blacksmiths in the country, and in brick- 
making, renders them of considerable value to the 
landlord. What is the exact state of the law with 
respect to them, I know not ; but I believe they are 
absolute serfs in Transylvania. I know the settled 
gipsies cannot legally take permanent service out 
of the place they were born in, without permis- 
sion, or without the payment of a certain sum of 

* This enumeration is taken from a very imperfect statisti- 
cal work, on Transylvania by Lebrecht, and is, I suspect, exag- 

+ In Wallachia, when I was there, they were sold as slaves in 
the open market. I believe this law has been since abolished. 


They are just as great beggars here as else- 
where, and just as witty in their modes of begging. 
A large party of them presented themselves one 

day at the door of the Countess W , whom 

they used to call the mother of the gipsies, from 
her frequent charities to them, with a most piteous 
complaint of cold and hunger all the children, 
as usual, naked ; when the chief pulling a sad 
face, begged hard for relief; " for he was a poor 
man," he said, " and it cost him a great deal to 
clothe so large a family." 

Of the most simple moral laws they seem to be 
entirely ignorant. It is not rare to see them em- 
ployed as servants in offices considered below the 
peasant to perform. They never dream of eating 
with the rest of the household, but receive a 
morsel in their hands, and devour it where they 
can. Their dwellings are the merest huts, often 
without a single article of furniture. Having such 
difficulty in supporting themselves, as is manifested 
in their wasted forms, one cannot help wondering 
how they can maintain the pack of curs which 
always infest their settlements, and often render it 
dangerous to approach them. By the rest of the 
peasantry they are held in most sovereign con- 
tempt. As I was travelling along the road one 
day, after my return from Turkey, my servant 
turned round as we met a camp of gipsies, and 
exclaimed, "After all, sir, our negroes are not so 
ugly as those in Turkey." 


On arriving at a village about half-way to Nagy 
Banya, we found the servants had laid the table 
at a miserable cottage, though the best in the 
place, when quickly despatching the good dinner 
which was waiting for us, we got into the waggon 
and hastened on as fast as we could. It was night, 
however, before we reached our destination ; and 
we had an opportunity of proving the inconve- 
niences of travelling in the dark, in such a coun- 
try ; for, in passing a small overflow, the waggon 
sunk on one side into a deep hole, and quietly 
overturned us all into the water. We escaped 
with no other injury than a good wetting, which 
we managed to rectify by means of the liqueur- 
bottle, which S had instinctively grasped in 

the fall, and so secured from injury. 

Nagy Banya, is rather a pretty little town, with a 
large square and some buildings, so good, that one 
wonders how they could ever have got there. The 
country round it is mountainous, and some of the 
valleys in the neighbourhood are exceedingly pretty. 
The mining district, of which Nagy Banya forms 
the chief place, extends for a considerable space 
around it ; but, though still rich in ores, it is much 
less important than some others we have visited. 
The most interesting of the mines is that of the 
Kreutzberg, close by the town, which, having been 
worked by the Romans, and afterwards deserted, 
has been re-opened within the last eighty years, and 
now yields a considerable return. We entered it 


by a fine adit, which will soon be fit for horse 
waggons. Traces of the beautiful Roman work 
were visible on every side. We found them work- 
ing a new vein, or rather an offset from the old 
one, which was tolerably rich, and seemed to offer 
good prospects of continuance. The centner of 
ore contains about eight ounces of silver, and every 
ounce of silver forty denarii of gold. The Kreutz- 
berg produces about four marks of gold per month. 
The matrix is generally porphyry. To free the 
mine from water, an eight-horse wheel working a 
pump is kept in constant motion. Not many years 
since, a skeleton, supposed to be the remains of 
an ancient miner, together with some tools, and a 
Roman lamp, was found in this mine. 

The most interesting object connected with the 
Kreutzberg, is a vast cleft which penetrates from 
the surface to a depth of three hundred and eighty 
yards, and which extends twelve hundred yards in 
length, and is six feet wide. When this cleft 
was produced is not known; but, if I remember 
rightly, there is reason to believe it was since the 
time of the Romans. 

We visited the smelting-works, which are situ- 
ated somewhat higher up the valley, and found 
them in a better condition than almost any others 
we had seen. 

The chief products of these mines, are gold and 
silver, the amount of which I have seen stated, the 
former, at four hundred marks per an., the latter, 

252 MINING. 

at eighteen thousand marks. Besides these some 
copper, lead, and iron are produced. The officers 
on the spot could not give us the net amount of 
these products per an., for the gold and silver are 
sent off from Nagy Banya to Kremnitz every month, 
in a single mass, and are only separated when they 
arrive there. Of the mixed metal, they say about 
twelve hundred marks are produced every month, 
which would reduce the amount considerably lower 
than that given above. 

Mining is one of those tempting speculations, 
which it is very hard for persons living in a mining 
country to resist ; yet it is just one of the most 
dangerous, for those ignorant of its mysteries, to 
meddle with. To the scientific miner, I have no 
doubt, Transylvania offers certain wealth; but to 
a country gentleman, who puts his money into a 
mine much as he would into a lottery, it is a pretty 
certain loss. A member of our friend's family had 
fallen into this snare, and we had intended to visit 
the mine ; but we heard such a poor report of it, 
that it was not thought worth the time. In fact, 
a steward, who had been dismissed for dishonesty, 
had begged to be employed to conduct a mine, 
which he declared, after a very small outlay for the 
first year, would not only pay itself, but soon pro- 
duce a very handsome return. From a mistaken 
feeling of kindness the request was granted ; and 
now, after three years 1 working, no return could 
be heard of. 


On our way back to Hadad the next day, we 
began to feel extremely hungry, and our horses 
seemed quite ready for a rest about one o'clock, 
at which hour we found ourselves near a village 
where there was no inn. " Never mind," said the 
Baron, " we have got plenty of cold fowls and 
ham, and wine; and the coachman has not for- 
gotten some corn for his horses, so that we shall 
not starve. But, as it would not be pleasant 
to sit and eat our dinner here, (the snow was 
beginning to fall,) we will go to that house," 
pointing to a gentleman's house at the other end 
of the village; "for though the master is not at 
home, and I know him very slightly, I am sure the 
servants will be very glad to let us in/' When 
we drove up to the door, the servants no sooner 
heard our wishes, than they opened the dining-room 
and offered us anything they had, as if it had been 
a matter of course. The horses were put up in the 
stable, and the coachman bought some more corn 
of the bailiff and gave them a double feed. The 
absence of inns renders this kind of hospitality an 
absolute duty, and no one hesitates to avail himself 
of it when in need. 

Though it was yet scarcely the middle of No- 
vember, the snow fell so heavily that every one 
declared it was setting in for winter, and we 
were glad, therefore, to get back to Klausenburg as 
quickly as we could. It was melancholy to see the 
peasants up to the knees in snow, searching for 


the grapes which were not half gathered. It is 
reckoned that a great part of this year's vintage will 
be entirely lost. By following a longer, but better 
road, we were enabled to reach Klausenburg in two 
days, with no other accident than the breaking of 
some iron-work of the carriage, which we were able 
to supply by means of ropes. 





Horse Fair at Klausenburg. Moldavian Horses. Cholera in 
Klausenberg. Thorda. Valley of the Aranyos. Miklos 
and his Peccadilloes. A Transylvanian Invitation. The 
Wallack Judge. Thoroczko. The Unitarian Clergyman. 
St. Gyb'rgy. A Transylvanian Widow. Peasants' Cottages. 
The Cholera. A Lady's Road. Thordai Hasadek. The 
Salt Mines of Szamos Ujvar. The Salt Tax. Karlsburg. 
The Cathedral and krumme Peter. Wallack Charity. Za- 
latna. Abrud Banya. The Gold Mines of Voros Patak 
Csetatie. Detonata. Return. College of Nagy Enyed. 
English Fund. System of Education. 

THE reader must now allow me to pass over three 
quarters of a year, of which period I shall give him 
no further account than to say it was passed in 


travelling through some parts of Greece and Turkey, 
and he must fancy me returned to Transylvania, 
determined to see the part of the country which 
the approach of winter had prevented me from 
visiting the year before. My brother had taken 

Mr. S 's place as my companion; but, alas! 

Mr. H had left for England, and I was forced 

to content myself with such poor sketches as I could 
make myself of what most struck me in this tour. 

When I came back to Klausenburg, it was just 
at the time of the horse-fair ; and a number of gay 
carriages were rolling about, making the whole 
place seem quite alive. This fair has only been es- 
tablished a few years, and it is as yet considered a 
matter of honour for the chief horse-breeders to 
send a number of their horses, if only to show them. 
A large circus has been enclosed on the outside of 
the town, in which the horses are trotted and galloped 
round, while the company, including a crowd of 
ladies, occupy a kind of stand erected at one end. 
As the most beautiful horses of the country are 
produced here, and as they are often ridden by their 
owners, it is a very animated scene. On the outside 
of the circus, the carriage horses are exhibited ; and 
many were the smart teams of four long-tailed little 
horses, which whirled the light carriages round the 

In one corner we found a group of some hun- 
dred perfectly wild horses from Moldavia, not one 
of which had ever had a halter round his neck. 


They were guarded by a set of men, if possible, even 
wilder-looking than themselves. Some of these 
horses were by no means deficient in good points ; 
and though they do not bear a high character here, 
the low price at which they were sold, eight or 
ten pounds the pair, tempted purchasers. To see 
the newly purchased horses separated from the herd 
was a great treat ; it was one of the most clever feats 
of address and courage I almost ever witnessed. No 
sooner was the horse fixed on and pointed out, than 
one of the savage-looking tenders rushed into the 
herd, seized him by the ears and mane, and hung to 
him with all his strength. Alarmed at this treat- 
ment, the poor beast became furious, dashed about, 
kicked, reared, and put every artifice of horse inge- 
nuity in force to get rid of his enemy. It was all in 
vain, there the fellow hung, now in the air, now 
on the ground, he still held to the head. No bull- 
dog could pin his adversary more securely. Fati- 
gued at last with his own exertions, the horse was 
quiet for a moment, when a rope with a slip-noose 
was thrown over his neck, on which three or four 
men pulled with all their might, till they dragged 
him out of the herd. Half dead from strangula- 
tion, fear, and fatigue, the poor creature was now 
bound tightly to his fellow, and the pair were led 
off. When they first felt themselves yoked as it 
were, there was generally one more struggle for 
liberty; but it was useless, they only exhausted 
each other's strength, and probably became suffi- 



ciently tame in a few hours, to be harnessed to a 
waggon and driven home. 

The gay aspect of Klausenburg, however, soon 
disappeared. It was the season of the harvest, and 
all good landlords had plenty to do at home. 
There was another reason also which called the 
better-intentioued into the country. The cholera 
was raging frightfully through almost every part of 
the land, and the peasantry, the chief sufferers, had 
no one from whom they could ask or expect aid 
and advice but their lords and ladies ; and nobly, 
in many instances, did they perform their duties. 
Personal attendance even in some cases, and medi- 
cine and food in almost all, were liberally supplied. 
Of the numbers who perished during this attack 
it is impossible to give any account; I doubt even 
if it is known. In Klausenburg, for some time, 
the number of deaths amounted to from twenty to 
thirty a day; and before it ceased, probably not 
less than one-twentieth of its population was car- 
ried off. I have heard of some villages in which 
even a tenth perished. We were lodged just op- 
posite one of the gates of the town which led 
to the great cemetery, and through which every 
corpse was carried out. From two o'clock, as 
long as daylight lasted, the funerals proceeded in 
one melancholy procession. It is the custom 
that every member of a trade should be followed 
by the whole of the corporation to which he 
belonged, and it is therefore scarcely a figure of 

THORDA. 259 

speech to say that all Klausenburg was engaged 
in this mournful task. A gipsy band is a ne- 
cessary attendant on a Transylvanian funeral ; 
and it is usually accompanied by the voices of a 
hundred followers chanting a mass or singing a 
psalm as they marched along. The soldiers, too, 
suffered severely, and the fine military bands were 
generally heard three or four times every after- 
noon. These melancholy scenes, and the continual 
tolling of the great bell, rendered Klausenburg 
really more like a city of the dead than the 
living ; and we were heartily glad when our pre- 
parations were made, and we could dissipate our 
gloomy thoughts by new scenes and new objects of 

In the little excursion which we made, and which 
did not occupy us more than a week, I think it will 
be best to follow my journal. 

August 18th. Left Klausenburg and got to 
Thorda for dinner. Finding nothing very interest- 
ing, though there are said to be some remains of 
a Roman road in the neighbourhood, and the post- 
house is ornamented with some Roman bas-reliefs 
we engaged horses to take us on to Thoroczko, 
where we hear there are some iron-mines well 
worth seeing. We agreed to pay eight shillings a 
day for five horses, the coachman being bound to 
maintain himself and steeds. 

The road to Thoroczko was hilly, and in many 
places so bad that we could only advance at a 

s 2 


foot pace, A little before sunset, we arrived at 
the summit of a very high hill, from which we had 
a splendid view over a fine mountainous country, 
with crags and precipices on every side, and just 
below us the little village of Bare, and the Aran- 
yos winding along the valley. Across the river was 
one of those curious covered wooden bridges, so 
common in Switzerland ; indeed, there was nothing 
but a snow mountain wanting to have made us 
fancy ourselves in the Cantons. As we were slowly 
descending the hill at the imminent hazard of our 
necks, with both wheels locked, and the servant 
hanging to the step to balance it, I began to 
make some inquiries as to the distance we had still 
to go before we arrived at Thorockzo, where we had 
been told there was a comfortable inn. I may 
add, in a parenthesis, that a comfortable inn in 
Transylvania means a dry room, clean straw, and 
a couple of roast chickens for supper. " Oh, I 
quite forgot," exclaimed Miklos, " to tell your 
grace that I have learnt at Thorda, that there is 
no inn at Thoroczko ; but it is of no consequence, 

for the Countess T lives there, and she would 

certainly be very glad to entertain you." It was 
of no use scolding though, like most angry men, 
I believe I forgot that in my anger for although 
this fellow had been in my service nearly a year, 
I had never been able to make him feel why I 
often preferred a poor dirty inn to a handsome man- 
sion, and starved chickens to good fare. That any 

MIKLdS. 261 

motives of delicacy could make me hesitate to 
intrude on the hospitality of those with whom I was 
unacquainted, was an idea altogether so foreign 
to the habits and customs of Transylvania, where 
in fact such visits are not considered intrusions, that 
it was no wonder the poor fellow could not com- 
>rehend it. 

But it is time I introduced this same Miklos to 
the better acquaintance of the reader, for a traveller 
who is ignorant of the vulgar tongue of a country 
in which he travels, is so dependent on his servant, 
that the character of the latter has often more 
influence on his adventures than even his own. 
After dismissing old Stephan, I had taken a man 
who turned out so great a rogue that I was obliged 
to get rid of him as soon as I arrived in Klau- 
senburg the first time ; and here some friend found 
Miklos for me to supply his place. Miklos was a 
stout good-looking little fellow of about twenty, who 
spoke Hungarian and Wallack perfectly, and knew 
as much German as enabled him to get through 
a message, which had been twice repeated to him, 
with only two or three blunders. His greatest 
merits were his desire to travel, and his constant 
good-humour in all the difficulties attendant on it. 
If anything was to be drawn out of an ill-tempered 
landlady, or a rigid-looking custom-house officer was 
to be softened, Miklos was pretty sure to manage 
the affair. Then he could make a bed, cook a 
dinner, cut hair, mend clothes, sleep on the ground, 

262 MiKLds. 

fast for a week, and bargain with a Jew. If the 
carriage stuck in the mud and we required addi- 
tional assistance to get it out again, he was the first 
to mount a horse and gallop off without bridle or 
saddle to the next village, and it was hard if he 
came back without having obtained his object. 
If the coachman could not drive his team or had 
an unruly leader, Miklos mounted as postilion or 
took the reins, and drove as if he had been bred 
a Jehu. These were all valuable qualities; but 
then the fellow was careless; made endless mistakes, 
which no scolding could teach him to avoid for 
more than twenty-four hours; and had, moreover, 
a shocking habit of making love to every woman 
he came near. He got deep into the affections of 
a lady's maid at Pest, attracted the attentions of 
a Greek widow in Constantinople, promised mar- 
riage to a Wallachian girl at Bucharest, and was 
besieged by a host of inamoratas in Klausenburg. 
Some may fancy that all these were no matters of 
mine, but I assure them they are mistaken, for 
independently of the annoyance of complaints from 
masters and mammas, love-making occupies much 
time which might be better employed; besides that, 
leaving every place one enters with a Dido deso- 
lata delaying the start is by no means agreeable. 
Notwithstanding his peccadilloes, however, Miklos 
was a good servant, and I must say I was sorry 
when I left the country and was obliged to part with 
him especially when I saw him neglect to take 


up his money, and blubber like a great child at 
leaving me. 

The valley of the Aranyos and the little village 
of Bare which we had now reached, looked so in- 
viting, that I was much tempted to make a better 
acquaintance with it, and accordingly desired Miklos 
to see if it was not possible to get a room in some 
peasant's cottage for the night. The judge imme- 
diately offered us beds in his house, and promised 
us some supper too if we would stay; an offer I 
was glad to accept in spite of Miklos's contemptu- 
ous expression when he found it was a Wallack 
under whose roof we were to rest. 

While they were making all possible preparations 
in the cottage, we scrambled along the craggy banks 
of the river for a considerable distance up the valley. 
Some mines in the neighbouring mountains gave 
food to an iron hammer which was plying its 
noisy restless task, disturbing the whole vale with 
its melancholy song. 

However Miklos may have sneered, the Wal- 
lack judge's cottage was by no means so bad. 
Besides the room in which the whole family lived, 
and the entrance where they cooked, both of which 
were certainly very filthy, there was another room, 
which, if it had no other floor than the hardened 
clay, and no other wall than the baked mud, was 
yet dry and tolerably clean. It contained two 
beds, very short and very hard, and, all around, 
were hung rude earthen jugs and pots, and in one 


favoured corner was a cluster of pictures of hideous 
saints, after the most orthodox models of the Greek 
church. But the pride of the family consisted 
in a long row of not less than twenty aprons, 
besides a number of shirts, ostentatiously displayed 
along one side of the room. The aprons were such 
as are commonly worn by the Wallack women ; but 
of a finer wool, and of beautiful colours. The shirts 
were of coarse linen, but prettily embroidered with 
blue at the wrists and neck. The whole of this 
treasure was the produce of the housewife's own 

As we were examining these arrangements, while 
Miklos was disposing some new pieces of home- 
spun linen in the guise he thought most likely to 
make us fancy them a table-cloth and napkins, a 
clattering of horses' hoofs was heard to cease at 
the door, and he was presently called out to speak 
to some stranger. When he returned, it was to 

announce that a servant of the Countess T was 

just come to say that his mistress had heard of our 
visit to Thoroczko, and would expect us to take 
beds at her house. Here was a pretty affair ! The 
carriage unpacked, the horses in the stable, and we 
expected some miles off! However, it was now too 
late to think of going further, and besides, I had 
taken a fancy to the Wallack's cottage. The beds 
too were made, a wax-light robbed from the car- 
riage these people were too poor to have candles 
of any kind threw a cheerful light over the room, 


everything was put in order, and I fancied it looked 
very comfortable ; in addition to which, the cloth, 
such as it was, was laid, and the smell of roasting 
was far from disagreeable to men who had not eaten 
since mid-day, so that there was nothing to be done 
but send a very polite message with an excuse for 
not coming, on account of the lateness of the hour, 
and a promise to do ourselves the honour of paying 
a visit the next day. 

I know not whether it was the difficult masti- 
cation of the fibrous old cock which now smoked 
upon the table, or some other cause, which called 
up certain doubts in my mind as to the correctness 
of the message which had just been delivered ; but 
certain it is they did arise, and I forthwith ques- 
tioned Miklos as to whether he had learnt how the 
Countess could have heard of our coming, as we 
knew she herself had but just returned to Tho- 
roczko from another part of the country. " Why/' 
said Miklos, making more than his usual num- 
ber of blunders in German, as he answered, " the 
fact is, the Countess does not know of it yet, but 
she soon will ; the servant who had been to Klau- 
senburg on business, had heard there of your Grace's 
arrival in this part of the country, and so he thought 
of course you would visit his lady, and he hastened 
home to tell them of your corning ; but as he found 
we were stopping here, he told your Grace that 
they already were expecting you, that he might 
not have to come back again to say so." And thus, 


on the servant's invitation, I had coolly sent to say 
I should visit a lady to whom I had no introduc- 
tion, and whom, though I knew by name, I had 
never seen in my life. Oh ! I could have broken 
the rascal's head for his blunder! but he was evi- 
dently unconscious of any fault, and thought, I have 
no doubt, that both he and the other servant were 
a couple of very clever fellows. 

19th. Rose early, got a sketch of the bridge 
and river, and started for Thoroczko, where we ar- 
rived before ten. It is a pretty little town, cleaner 
and with better houses than one generally sees. 
Its inhabitants are all Magyars and Unitarians. 
A friend in Klausenburg had given us a letter to 
the Unitarian clergyman, as the person best able 
to give us information of anything worth seeing in 
the neighbourhood, and we drove straight to his 
house. He was out attending a sick parishioner; 
but his wife received us, and insisted on sending 
to inform him of our coming. 

In the mean time we entered his modest dwelling, 
which, except in being rather larger, and having 
the kitchen and servant's room separated from 
the dwelling-rooms, differed little from those of his 
peasant neighbours. Its interior, however, bespoke 
his superiority. The two little rooms of which it 
consisted were crowded with book-shelves. Here 
they groaned under quartos of Latin theology > 
there they displayed probably all the best works 
in Hungarian literature, and no great number 


either while, in another part, belles lettres and 
natural history flourished in mis-shapen tomes from 
the German press. Some fine minerals from the 
neighbourhood which were scattered about, and a 
number of little drawers, which I am sure con- 
tained specimens, declared our priest a natural 
philosopher. While we were making these ob- 
servations, a stout, middle-aged man, with a mild 
expression of countenance, long black hair hanging 
down his back, and dressed in an Hungarian coat 
and knee-boots, made his appearance; and by a 
long complimentary speech in Latin, proclaimed 
himself our host. Before he was half through his 
address, I interrupted him, and petitioned for Ger- 
man; but lie declared off on the score of inability, 
and we were accordingly forced to carry on a medley 
discourse of Latin and German, as we best could. 

We found the immediate object of our visit, the 
iron mines, were in a very bad state, and scarcely 
worth the trouble of seeing. The clergyman told 
us of several natural curiosities in the mountains 
near; but they demanded a day or two at least 
to visit them, and we determined therefore, after 
paying our self-proffered visit to the Countess, who, 
our friend assured us, was a "nobilissima et gene- 
rosissima dama? to return to Thorda. We were 
not allowed to leave, however, without visiting the 
Unitarian church; a large, and rather handsome 
building for the size of the town. The object to 
which our attention was more immediately drawn, 

268 ST. GYORGY. 

however, was the organ ; it was a recent acquisition, 
and was exhibited, I thought, with no small feeling 
of clerical pride. 

After all, the Countess T did not live at 

Thoroczko, and we were therefore obliged to 
penetrate some miles further into this beautiful 
valley before we reached St. Gyorgy, the place 
of her residence. Nothing can be more secluded 
than this valley, nothing more lovely. On one 
side it is bounded by precipitous cliffs, on the very 
summit of which we could perceive some ruins of 
an old castle, on the other are wooded hills, and in 
the middle a pretty stream and rich meadows and 

We drove at once to the chateau, where we were 
received as expected guests, our horses taken out, 
and ourselves set down to lunch, as a matter of 

course. The Countess T was a lady of the old 

school, possessing all that easy dignity of manner 
which, when united to a warm heart, forms the 
perfection of the social character; and, though 
now in the decline of life, exhibiting a regularity 
and delicacy of features, which told she must 
have been a beauty in her younger days nor 
was their tale belied by the image of those days 
which, for us was reproduced in the person of 
her daughter. The servant had not been mis- 
taken ; for it was certain that his mistress expected 
not only that we, but that all other gentlemen 
who travelled through her secluded valley should 

ST. GYORGY. 269 

visit her on their way. Any idea of leaving be- 
fore dinner was scarcely allowed utterance. " As 
a widow," said the Countess, " my forenoons are 
pretty well occupied, for in Transylvania, we must 
be farmers, miners, doctors, and I know not what 
else beside. I leave you free, therefore, till the 
hour of dinner, when I shall expect the pleasure 
of seeing you again. See," she added, "the bou- 
quet my steward has brought me this morning ; 
it is composed of the heaviest ears of corn he 
has been able to find this season, and I assure you 
no hothouse flowers could be half so agreeable 
to me." 

The Countess Julia observed, that perhaps as 
strangers, we might feel interested in visiting the 
cottages of some of the peasants ; and added that 
if we did not fear the cholera, which had unfor- 
tunately made its appearance in the village, she 
should be happy to show us some. Of course we 
were delighted to accept the offer. " St. Gyorgy," 
she added, " is, I believe, one of the richest villages 
in Transylvania; and for the credit of my country, 
I am therefore, the more anxious you should see 
it. The peasants are Magyars, and mostly of the 
Unitarian belief." 

The cottages were of one story, and built on 
the same general plan as all the others we had 
seen ; but in many cases they were larger, and 
the farmyards seemed more plentifully stocked. 
One house into which we were taken, might 


have been held up as a pattern of cleanliness and 
order in any country. Round the best room 
hung a prodigious quantity of fine bed-linen, 
beautifully embroidered on the edges, in different 
colours. " This is the handiwork of the unmar- 
ried girls, and is intended as their dower : and 
hard enough they work at it/' smilingly added 
our fair informant, " for they cannot get hus- 
bands, till, by such works as these, they have 
given good proofs of their industry and talent." 
The daughter of the house was easily persuaded 
to put on her Sunday costume, which was as 
rich as embroidery and ribbons could make it. 
The St. Gyorgy girls are said to have the hand- 
somest dresses of any village in the district. What 
a pity it is, that all these beautiful costumes, and 
the honest pride and self-esteem they give rise to, 
must disappear, as soon as the cheap wares of 
Manchester, or some other cotton capital, gain 
entrance to these valleys, and drive household 
manufactures from the field ! If real civilization, 
founded on improved institutions and an enlight- 
ened system of education, do not accompany the 
introduction of luxuries produced by machinery, 
they may become a curse instead of a blessing to 
a people. It is difficult to find for the uneducated 
peasant-woman an occupation more befitting her 
powers of mind and body, more consistent with 
her duties of mother and housekeeper, than is 
afforded by the simple processes of spinning and 

ST. GYORGY. 271 

weaving. If this is taken away, and the means 
of applying herself to higher and more difficult 
objects are not afforded, she has little left but 
idleness, or the coarse degrading labours of the 

The owner of this house, though a simple peasant, 
was said to be possessed of more than a thousand 
pounds. The only advantage he had enjoyed above 
his fellows, was in being freed from the seigneurial 
labour-dues for some service rendered to the late 
Count, industry and sobriety had done the rest. 
The only book I could see in the house, was a large 
Hungarian Bible, richly bound and fastened with a 
pair of heavy brass clasps. 

We had time enough before dinner to wander 
about the village, and climb a conical hill, at a little 
distance from it, on which stand the picturesque 
ruins of the Castle of St. Gyorgy. We had a fine 
view from this point, over the whole valley. Further 
than we had yet traversed, we could observe an 
exit from it by means of a vast cleft in the lime- 
stone rocks which otherwise bounded it on every 
side. On looking back over the road we had come, 
we saw more clearly the few walls on the summit 
of those stupendous cliffs, which mark where the 
old castle of Thoroczko formerly stood. It would 
require at least two hours' good climbing to reach 
it from the valley. It was formerly always the lot 
I cannot call it privilege of the eldest sons 
of the family of Thoroczko to inhabit this 


mountain nest ; while the younger were allowed 
to choose some less ambitious dwelling in the 

"You have visited St. Gyb'rgy at a very unfor- 
tunate moment," said the Countess when we re- 
turned ; " the cholera, which set in only two days 
ago, has assumed a very serious aspect to-day. Since 
yesterday no less than four deaths have been re- 
ported to me, and I fear we must expect many 
more." For these persons we found the Countess 
was the sole physician, her house their dispensary, 
and sometimes even their hospital, for she had had 
several of them brought there, that they might be 
better attended to. Several times, during dinner, 
her daughter was obliged to leave the table to send 
off medicines for some new patient who claimed 
her aid. In this she was assisted by the steward 
and clergyman, who seemed both to take an active 
interest in the fate of the poor sufferers. During 
the short time we remained, five more deaths were 

In returning to Thorda, the Countess proposed 
that we should take a nearer road than that by 
which we had come. " It is rather a rough one," 
she added ; " but it is the one I always take my- 
self, and I do not suppose that, for young men like 
you, its little dangers will be any objection." After 
many adieus and kind invitations to renew our 
visit at a more favourable moment, we at last 
started. Our new route led us almost immedi- 


ately from the village, up the sides of a high 
and steep mountain, after having mastered which, 
we were promised a continual descent. As we 
turned round to take a last look at the scene 
we were leaving, we witnessed one of those beau- 
tiful effects which none but the dwellers in moun- 
tain lands can ever behold. A storm came roaring 
up the valley below us, throwing everything into 
deep shade, except the castle on the hill, which 
caught a gleam of sunshine, and stood out in 
bright relief against the black mountains behind 
it. We paid, however, dearly for the treat : 
by a sudden veer of the wind, the storm seemed 
to quit the valley ; and clinging to the side of 
the mountain, followed our footsteps, overtook 
us, and beat with such force on the horses that 
they turned round and refused to move any 
further. Flogging made no impression on them, 
they only kicked and backed, and they 
had chosen for that operation a ridge c of the 
mountain, from whence one might have slipped 
into immortality, almost before one was aware 
of it. 

Our only remedy was to sit still while Miklos 
mounted one of the horses, and went back to beg 
the Countess would lend us some oxen to drag us 
up the rest of the mountain. A peasant, however, 
who was at work at some distance, and saw our 
difficulty, took his horses out of the plough ; and 
harnessing them before ours, got us at last to the 

VOL. n. T 


top. So much time had been lost, that it very soon 
became dark, and we found ourselves in a bad and 
dangerous road, which it was impossible to traverse 
faster than at a foot pace. Miklos was obliged to 
take the lamps and walk on before, while we held 
the carriage from falling over. We were not only 
every moment in danger of overturning, but of losing 
the carriage at the bottom of a ravine whence it 
would have been impossible to recover it. Instead 
of four hours, we occupied eight in this short cut, 
but we were too well contented to have escaped 
with whole skins, to grumble at the loss of time. 
Such roads may suit Transylvanian ladies, but 
Heaven preserve all English gentlemen from them ! 
- A steeple-chase is safe in comparison. 

20th. Projected a visit this morning to the 
Thordai Hasadelc, a mountain cleft, of the same 
kind as that we saw at a distance yesterday from 
St. Gyorgy, but said to be much larger. In tra- 
versing the few miles which separate the Hasadek 
from Thorda, we passed over a part of the Prat de 
Trajan, where the great victory was gained by Tra- 
jan, over Decebalus. Though Transylvanian anti- 
quaries place the scene of the action more to the 
east, and nearer the banks of the Maros, than our 
route led us, I am inclined to think they must be in 
error ; for we observed a great number of tumuli 
in this direction, of a size and form which render 
it exceeding probable that they were intended 
to commemorate the death of the heroes who fell 


on that occasion. I am not aware that any of them 
have been opened, or that any tradition exists as to 
their origin. 

After about an hour's drive we arrived at the 
entrance to the Hasadek. We descended into a 
little valley in the form of a semicircle, which sur- 
rounds the opening of the cleft, and is inhabited by 
a few poor Wallacks and their cows; and scram- 
bling over some broken rocks, entered this extraor- 
dinary place. 

Let the reader imagine a chain of low mountains, 
twenty miles long, cut transversely through to a 
level with the valleys they divide, and he will have 
some idea of the Thordai Hasadek. In no place 
(I should think) is the cleft more than twenty yards 
wide at the bottom, though it increases somewhat 
towards the top. As might be supposed, the sides of 
it are as precipitous as anything can be imagined. 
A small stream which rises from some springs in 
the semicircular valley, makes its way among the 
broken rocks through the cleft, and passes out at 
the other side. It so nearly occupies the whole 
of the space left between the rocks, that we had to 
cross it at least twenty times in order to find dry 
footing; sometimes we had to pick our way for 
a considerable distance along the stepping-stones 
placed by the peasants in its bed, and once to climb 
the rocks at the imminent hazard of slipping into 
the pool below. 

Some of the cliffs in this valley are truly mag- 

T 2 



nificent. In one place they rise from the very 
base, in a perpendicular line to the summit, a 
height I will not ven- 
ture to guess. About 
midway through the Ha- 
sade*k, and at some height 
up the side of the cliff, 
there is a remarkable 
cavern called the Bay- 
luka. A steep pathway 
leads up to the entrance, 
which is defended by a 
double wall, with ram- 
parts and holes for musketry. The cave itself is 
large, and arched like a vast Gothic hall, and is 
capable of containing a hundred persons. Beyond 
the first chamber it divides into several smaller 
ones, which we could not penetrate far into, for 
want of lights. It is extraordinary that opposite 

the Bayluka, on the other 
side the cleft, there is a 
second cavern, of which 
the natural entrance is 
exactly like the first. 
This is interesting; be- 
cause it proves that they 
were once joined toge- 
ther, and that it was only 
by some violent convul- 
sion that they were torn 


asunder. The stratum is a compact limestone, as 
far as I observed, without fossils. 

The first of these caverns was formerly the fa- 
vourite stronghold of a celebrated Transylvanian 
robber, Bay, from whom it takes its name. A 
number of popular stories exist about this Bay, 
though I was not able to collect any of much in- 
terest; but if he was half the hero he is repre- 
sented, it must have required a brave man to 
attack him in his mountain fortress. 

We traversed the cleft completely to the other 
end, and I should say, the distance is from two to 
three miles. At one point, where the brook filled 
up the whole valley, and the rocks came down close 
to the water's edge, we met a gay party of peasant 
lads and lasses in their holiday clothes, apparently 
going to some merry-making in the next valley. 
The lads tripped lightly over the rocks, where we 
could hardly find footing, and many were the jokes 
and jeers they cast at the girls, when they sat down 
to take off their sandals preparatory to wading the 
brook, which they preferred to the exposure their 
modesty feared from climbing the rock. A curious 
phenomenon we observed at the far end of the val- 
ley, a natural arch formed in the rock, with an 
arched roof and window, so much like the work of 
the Gothic architect, that it is no wonder the pea- 
santry should have christened it the chapel. I must 
not forget that the superstitious attribute the whole 
cleft to a prayer of St. Ladislaus, who entreated that 


the mountain might open, and save him from the 
heathens. If it is so, I can only say we are in- 
debted to the saint for one of the most beautiful 
scenes of rocky grandeur I know. 

On our return to Thorda we started for Maros 
Ujvar, a small village about twelve miles off, where 
are the chief salt-mines of Transylvania, which we 
reached late in the evening. 

21st. We sent to request permission to enter 
the mines, and received a polite answer, that we 
had only to present ourselves, and one of the offi- 
cers would feel great pleasure in conducting us over 

The chief part of the salt-mines of Maros Ujvar, 
is formed by three vast subterranean chambers. As 
they were not using the buckets, we were obliged 
to descend by the staircase. Before we had reached 
six feet from the surface, the salt was already per- 
ceptible. After passing some new workings which 
we shall understand better when we have describ- 
ed the principal ones, we descended to the lower 

We entered at one end of a vast hall two hun- 
dred and seventy feet long by one hundred and 
eighty wide, and two hundred and ten high, with 
a Gothic arched roof, dimly lighted by the candles 
of the miners. At the opposite end to that by 
which we entered, was a huge portal, reaching 
nearly to the top of the chamber, and affording en- 
trance to a second, and that again to a third hall 


of equal extent with the first. On a signal being 
given, a sudden blaze burst forth in each of these 
chambers, and lighted up the whole space with a 
brilliant illumination. It was the grandest sight 
I had ever beheld. The walls were of solid rock- 
salt, which, if not so dazzling as writers are gene- 
rally pleased to describe it, was extremely beautiful 
from the variety of its colours. It resembled 
highly polished white marble veined with brown, 
the colours running in broad wavy lines. 

The size of these halls, the effect of the light, 
the grandeur and extreme simplicity of the form, 
with the exquisite purity of the material, impressed 
me with a feeling of their architectural beauty, 
beyond that of almost any object of art I know. 
No words can express the intense enjoyment with 
which I regarded them. 

As soon as we could sober down sufficiently to 
listen to the details of our conductor, he pointed 
out the whole floor of the chamber covered with 
workmen employed in detaching and shaping vast 
masses of the salt rock preparatory to its ascent. 
It is cut by means of sharp hammers into long 
blocks of about one foot in diameter, which are 
afterwards broken up into masses, weighing from 
fifty-eight to fifty-nine pounds each, and in this 
form it is brought to market. The accuracy with 
which they can measure the weight is extraor- 
dinary. After shaping his block above and on 
the sides, the miner calls to two or three of his 


neighbours to aid him in detaching its base from 
the rock. This is effected by repeated blows of 
very heavy hammers on the upper surface, the most 
exact time and equality of force being maintained. 
This is the severest part of their labour, but it lasts 
only a few minutes at a time. 

The number of workmen employed here is about 
three hundred. Among these are Magyars, Wai- 
lacks and Germans. The Magyars are said_ to 
work the hardest, but also to drink the hardest. I 
believe the tales one so often hears of men being 
born and dying in mines without ever having seen 
the light is pure fiction ; it certainly is not the case 
anywhere in Hungary, and least of all here. The 
miners begin their work at three o'clock in the 
morning and leave it at eleven, and the average 
rate of wages for eight hours' labour is about ten 
pence. In such large spaces the air could scarcely 
be otherwise than good, and the temperature is 
always the same 13 of Reaumur summer and 
winter. The employment is far from unhealthy, 
and even children often apply themselves to it 
very young. 

Some of the new workings, which are higher 
than those we have described, are laid out for the 
same kind of chambers. In one part a hole has 
been cut through the roof of the first great hall, 
and as we looked into the vast abyss, innumerable 
lights seemed dancing below, and figures flitting 
round them, while the clear ring of many hammers 


faintly reached the ear. The poet who would de- 
scribe a descent to Erebus, might envy me that 

The quantity of salt annually produced from these 
mines is six hundred thousand centners, all of 
which, with the exception of about thirty thousand 
used in the neighbourhood, is sent to Hungary.* In 
this calculation I believe the dust salt, or broken par- 
ticles produced by the hammering, is not included. 
Many thousand centners of this salt are thrown 
into the river every year. For each of the masses 
of fifty-eight pounds which we have mentioned 
above, the miner receives two and a half kreutzers 
(twopence). With all the expenses, however, the 
centner is delivered at the pit's mouth, for about 
twenty-four kreutzers c. m., or tenpence. It is 
sold in Transylvania at three florins and a half, or 
seven shillings, the centner. The greater part, 
however, is sent by the Maros to Szegedin, at an 
expense of about tenpence more each centner. It 
is sold there at seven guldens and a half, or fifteen 
shillings, the centner ! 

There has been so much complaint against this 

* The east of Transylvania is supplied from mines in the 
Szekler land, which we shall visit later, and the North of Hungary 
chiefly from Velicska and the Marmaros. In a small work on 
Transylvania, published by M. Lebrecht, in 1804, the amount of 
salt furnished by Transylvania, is stated at above a million cent- 
ners. The price was then one fifteenth of what it is at present. 
The population has increased and the consumption fallen off. Is 
not the elevation of price the cause ? 


price of salt in the Diet, that we must say a few 
words more about it. 

A monopoly of the sale of salt is one of the 
Royal privileges, acknowledged as such by the 
nation, and enjoyed by the Crown for a long suc- 
cession of years. It can hardly be supposed, how- 
ever, that the right of the Crown can extend to 
raising the price of one of the first necessaries of 
life to any amount it may think fit ; for this would 
be the admission of an indefinite and irresponsible 
right of taxation on all classes. To go no farther 
back than 1800, the price of salt was at half a 
florin (one shilling) per centner. The long and 
exhausting wars, which brought on two national 
bankruptcies within a few years of each other, were 
an excuse for raising this price to three florins 
and a half in Transylvania, and seven and a half 
in Hungary. Even during the continuance of the 
war, complaints enough were heard against this 
augmentation, and since that time they have be- 
come every year more angry and more just. 
Now there are several reasons which render the 
continuance of this exorbitant burthen peculiarly 
injudicious. First of all it has a bad reputation. 
The gabelle has been so often the cry by which a 
revolutionary leader has excited the passions of a 
mob, it is so closely associated with recollections 
which all prudent statesmen would avoid awaken- 
ing, that one cannot help wondering it should be 
continued. And then, hitherto, the Hungarians 


have entertained a notion that their cattle could 
not live without a large admixture of salt with their 
food ; but they are beginning to find out that this 
is an error, and to see that although the cattle like 
salt and will eat coarser food with it than they 
would without, it is neither necessary to keep them 
in health nor to feed them; and if such a dis- 
covery spreads very far, it will cause a greater 
loss to the revenue than the diminution of two- 
thirds of the price of the salt, for the quantity 
used by men is small in proportion to that given 
to the cattle. 

But the most extraordinary part of the affair is, 
that the Government incurs this obloquy, and runs 
the chance of this loss, all to no purpose. The 
whole line of frontier, from the Adriatic to the 
boundaries of Russia, is beautifully adapted for 
smuggling; and bulky as salt is, I can assure the 
reader it is smuggled in along the whole of this 
frontier. If I am asked from whom I have ob- 
tained this information, I can only answer from 
some of the Government salt officers in Hungary, 
who told me that they themselves bought their salt 
from the smugglers ! If any Austrian official doubts 
the extent to which this traffic is carried on, let 
him compare the returns from the frontier coun- 
ties with those from the interior, in proportion to 
their population, and he will hardly doubt the fact. 

I have been shown the salt smugglers' paths on 
the frontiers of Wallachia, where they often come 


over with whole troops of laden horses. I have 
heard from the county magistrates, that it was 
ridiculous to attempt to oppose them ; that they 
had the sympathy of the peasantry with them, and 
were not only able to bribe the border guard, but 
that they came in such numbers, and so well armed, 
that they did not dare even to make a show of resist- 
ing them. I doubt if there is one great proprietor 
in the south of Hungary, who uses Government salt, 
except in such quantity as decency requires to blind 
officers who do not wish to see. In that part of 
Hungary, bordering on Transylvania, the more ten- 
der-conscienced declare they would not use Turkish 
salt on any account; but I found that that was 
because it was cheaper to smuggle it from Trans- 
sylvania, where it is only half the price it is in 
Hungary. " Oh ! " they exclaimed, when charged 
with this peccadillo, "we buy the Emperor's salt, 
at any rate ; we don't go to those rascally Turks 
for it:" absolutely priding themselves on their 
loyalty, when compared with the sinnings of their 

And, then, what has become of the paternal 
anxiety to keep out the plague, which led to the 
establishment of such a vast and perpetual cordon 
as that of the borderers? It is certain, that not a 
day terminates in which men with bags of salt do 
not pass from one country to the other, without 
any intervention of quarantine, or process of puri- 
fication. For the maintenance of a paltry tax, the 


health of all Europe is constantly exposed to an 
invasion of the plague ! 

The foreign trade, of course, is entirely lost by 
he increase of price; and Wallachia, Moldavia, 

id Servia, which formerly drew their salt from 
Hungary, now, as we have seen, return the com- 

22nd. Karlsburg. We arrived here last night, 
after a pleasant drive along the rich and beautiful 
valley of the Maros. Every day these valleys of 
Transylvania gain on one's affections. They are 
so green, so smiling, so varied in their beauties, 
that it is impossible not to love them. 

Our host, we find is a character. Krumme (lame) 
Peter, as he is called, is a noble ; and, besides the 
)rivileges of his order, he is one of those happy 
mortals who have achieved the right to say and do 
whatsoever seemeth them good to whomsoever they 
please. Though his inn is by no means the best, and 
although he allows no one to find fault, everybody 
goes to it for the sake of Krumme Peter. It is 
amusing to see how quietly he assumes an equality 
with the proudest Count or Baron of the state ; how 
he discusses their families, their fortunes, their opi- 
nions, and what sharp home truths he sometimes 
tells under that air of half-dignity, half-buffoonery, 
he commonly puts on. And then, Krumme Peter, 
keeps a table which might content a bishop, and 
he does the honours of it, too, with a feeling of 
the importance of the duty ; and, after all, he 


charges you so little, that you begin yourself to 
doubt whether you have not been his guest rather 
than his customer. 

Karlsburg is formed by two distinct towns, the 
one, a long, ill-built, straggling village, occupying 
the plain ; the other, a handsome fortress, con- 
taining many good buildings and neatly laid out, 
situated on the hill above. We reached the for- 
tress by a winding road, defended by walls, into 
which were built a number of Roman statues, 
and tablets bearing inscriptions. These are re- 
mains of the Roman Colonia Apulensis, which oc- 
cupied the site of Karlsburg. Within the fortress 
is a museum, in which still more interesting anti- 
quities of the same period are preserved. Colo- 
nia seems to have been the mining capital of 
the Romans in Dacia, the seat of the Collegium 
Aurariarum, and the residence of the Procurator 
or chief officer of the gold mines. 

The present fortress is of no greater age than 
the time of Charles the VI. (1715), whose name 
it bears. As a fortress, nothing can be worse 
placed ; it is ill supplied with water, and com- 
manded by the neighbouring hills. It is said to 
have been built after a plan of Prince Eugene's ; 
and, if I mistake not, it is not the only bad fortifi- 
cation I have heard attributed to him. 

In the centre of the fortress is a fine cathedral, 
built in fulfilment of a vow to St. Michael, made 
by Hunyadi Janos, in the battle of St. Imre. I 


think it was in this battle that the order had been 
given to the Turkish army to seek out and destroy 
Hunyadi, who was distinguished by his white plume 
and brilliant armour. This news having been re- 
ported to the Hungarians, Kemeny, one of the 
officers of Hunyadi, assumed the armour of his 
chief, and nobly devoted himself to a certain death, 
to save his country the loss of her greatest general. 
The cathedral, which is small, is in a style half 
Gothic, half Byzantine, characteristic enough of 
the age and history of its erection. The exterior 
is heavy, and the ornaments, which are in the 
barbarous taste of the Byzantine school, are far 
from relieving it. The interior, however, is in a 
more bold and pure Gothic style; and the tra- 
cery on the capitals of some of the long slender 
pillars, is as graceful and light as anything in 

For a long time, this cathedral was the favourite 
burying-place of the princes of Transylvania. The 
tombs of Hunyadi, and his beheaded son Ladis- 
laus, and another of his family, though much in- 
jured, are still interesting. The figures of the 
knights, which resemble those we so often see in 
our own churches, decorate the top of each sarco- 
phagus. That of Hunyadi is represented as clothed 
in a flowing mantle, beneath which is a tight sur- 
coat, fastened round the waist by a cord, and which, 
falling back from the legs, displays the tight panta- 
loons, resembling those worn at the present day. 


The two other figures are of a later date, and are of 
much ruder workmanship. They are both in ar- 
mour, but with waists more ridiculously pinched in, 
than even a Paris milliner would venture on. Still 
further, we found the tomb of Isabella, and her son, 
John Sigmund Zapolya. It was this princess who 
introduced from Poland, her native country, the doc- 
trines of Unitarianism into Transylvania, and who 
likewise granted equal rights and privileges to the 
four churches, which still constitute the established 
religions of the country. This monument is in white 
marble, of a considerable size, and ornamented with 
bas-reliefs, interesting as illustrating the costume 
and mode of warfare of that age. We find cannon 
and heavy arquebuses already in use, although the 
horsemen are completely encased in armour. The 
chivalry of Transylvania is seen advancing in battle 
array, each knight bearing on his spear not only his 
banner, but a kind of tuft, something like the horse 
tails of a Turkish Pasha. Under the great porch, 
we observed, on one side, a slab to the memory of 
George Rakotzy I., and on the opposite side was 
the pedestal of another, of which the slab had been 
removed. It is said, that in 1716, when the Ca- 
tholics again obtained possession of the cathedral 
for it had served in turn for Catholic, Unitarian, 
and Calvinist they had the pitiful bigotry to 
destroy the monument of Bethlen Gabor, which for- 
merly stood there. The verger denied all cogni- 
zance of the matter, but confessed he knew nothing 

THE MINT. 289 

of any such monument ; and I must say, this vacant 
place looks very much as if the allegation were true. 
I could not help smiling at the pious horror the 
verger seemed to have of Protestant persecution, 
when he said, that during the time the Protestants 
possessed the church, they only allowed the Ca- 
tholics the use of the porch, which was fitted up as 
an oratory ; but he forgot to say that the Catholics 
did not leave the Protestants even that poor pri- 
vilege, but turned them out altogether. 

The Transylvanian mint, where all the gold found 
in Transylvania is coined, stands near the cathedral. 
We were allowed to walk in and examine it with- 
out difficulty. We found them at work with some 
new presses made by an Englishman in Vienna ; 
they spoke of them in high terms, and they were 
certainly very superior to those we had seen at 
Kremnitz. The average monthly coinage I have 
seen stated at 100,000 florins (10,000/. sterling). 
This is probably about correct, for I find the whole 
amount of gold said to be produced in Transyl- 
vania, estimated at 2500 marks (the mark, 3G/. 
12*.) or 91,500/. ; of silver, 500 marks, (mark, 21. 
10*.) or 12,500/.; together 104,000/. Great com- 
plaints are made by private speculators in mines, 
against the facilities afforded by the mint to gold 
robbers. In an article of so much value, it is 
almost impossible to prevent the common miners 
from stealing when occasions offer ; but good police 
regulations, which would prevent jewellers from 

VOL. ii. u 


purchasing raw metal, and strict observance on the 
part of the mint, to receive it only from persons 
who can have obtained it honestly, and that is 
easily known, for every mining adventurer must 
possess a permission from the Crown would do 
much to check the practice. Here, on the contrary, 
every grain is eagerly grasped at by the mint under 
the absurd and mischievous notion which we have 
often had to notice, that it might otherwise be sold 
out of the country, and so impoverish the land. 
Thus we see a government establishment from pure 
ignorance of the simplest principles of political 
economy, labouring to demoralize those whom it 
ought, and whom I believe it wishes only to benefit. 
On quitting Karlsburg, for the mines of Zalathna, 
we left the valley of the Maros, and with it, to all 
appearance, the habitable world itself. A secluded 
valley cut out of the hard rock by the little river 
Ompoly, whose banks we followed, brought us at 
last however to our journey's end. It was a sultry 
day, and five long hours did it take us to accom- 
plish the task. Not that we had anything to com- 
plain of; the valley was often pretty, and every 
now and then a curious rock, which seemed, as it 
were, to have started from the side of the mountain, 
gave occupation to our thoughts in attempting to 
account for the manner of its formation. And a 
still more pleasant theme for musing, for it was on 
the kindliness of the heart of man, did we discover 
in a custom of this secluded valley. Under the cool 


shade of a large spreading tree by the road side, and 
just high enough to place it out of the reach of 
cattle, we noticed a small wooden frame, some- 
thing like that often seen in Catholic countries, 
containing the image of a favourite saint. Instead 
of a saint, however, in this one there was a large 
pitcher, such as the peasants commonly use for car- 
rying water. Opposite this tree our peasant driver 
deliberately pulled up his horses, and getting off 
the box, took down the pitcher from its niche, and, 
after first offering it to us, indulged in a long and 
hearty draught of the pure fresh water it contained. 
To the Transylvanian peasant, under a Transylva- 
nian sun, a great quantity of water is an absolute 
necessary. Of that we had been often made aware, 
for our coachmen constantly stopped the carriage 
without thinking it at all necessary to ask permis- 
sion whenever they saw a well, or a clear stream, 
to quench their thirst; we had often, too, seen 
the peasant woman, as she carried home her full 
pitcher from the well, offer it to the passing tra- 
veller without a moment's hesitation, though it cost 
her the trouble of returning some distance to refill 
it. But here, where no friendly spring was nigh, 
some neighbouring peasant family had undertaken 
to supply the deficiency by erecting this little 
structure, and providing it with a constant supply 
of fresh water. How many a weary traveller had 
gained fresh strength from the bounty of this 
unknown hand ! " I was thirsty, and ye gave me 

u 2 


drink;" never were the words of our Saviour 
more beautifully illustrated ; never was charity 
performed in a more Christian spirit. 

23rd. At Zalathna itself, there was little to be 
seen beyond the smelting houses, which differed 
in no essential points from those we had seen 
before. At some distance further up into the 
mountains, in the neighbourhood of Voros Patak, 
we had heard that there were some extraordinary 
mines, and, somewhere in the same direction a 
basaltic mountain of very wonderful proportions. 
So having spent a good part of the morning in 
providing a guide and saddle horses, for we were 
told it was impossible to make the excursion in 
a carriage, we ate an early dinner and started. 
Besides ourselves and the Wallack guide, we set 
Miklos between a couple of carpet bags, on a 
fourth horse, that he might serve as interpreter 
and general provider. Our immediate destination 
was Abrud Banya, where we were promised beds 
and a supper. 

For the first two hours the road led us along 
a thickly wooded valley, where our horses had 
some difficulty to find a footing among the loose 
stones with which it was filled. No solitude could 
be more complete ; during the whole time not a 
soul crossed our path. Just at the point where 
we were to leave this valley, and cross the moun- 
tain, about half the distance to Abrud Banya, we 
came suddenly on a comfortable-looking little inn, 


with half a dozen carriages and a number of ser- 
vants standing before the door. A more unex- 
pected apparition could scarcely have presented 
itself in the back woods of America. 

We had hardly passed the door before some of 
the servants came running after us with their 
masters' salutations, requesting to know who we 
were, and where we were going, and offering us, 
at the same time, their company on the road. The 
first part of the matter I had no hesitation in 
satisfying, but the latter was more than I could un- 
dertake. I know that I was wrong, I am perfectly 
aware that a traveller who undertakes to amuse or 
instruct others by his travels, is in duty bound to 
suffer all manner of annoyances ; to go " poking his 
nose " as a certain minister for foreign affairs 
expresses it when his protection is asked for an 
enterprise of difficulty and danger into all manner 
of disagreeables, where he has any hope of extract- 
ing amusement or information ; and from these 
gentlemen I have no doubt I might have obtained 
much, for they were the great mining notabilities 
from the whole country round the Berg Raths and 
Berg Inspectors, and I know not who else beside, 
who had been solemnly admitting a new member 
ito their body, of course over a good dinner, 
that forming a part of all solemn ceremonies all 
over the world. I know, therefore, how much 
I have failed, and I impose this confession on 
myself as a punishment for my backsliding ; but 


really 1 had not the courage to go through the 
ordeal of answering all their questions about our- 
selves, our objects, and our travels ; of listening to 
all their remarks thereon, and, above all, of suffer- 
ing their hospitality for there are moments when 
well-meant but rude hospitality inflicts much suffer- 
ing. In fact I must have been out of temper, for 
all I could bring my politeness to do, was to answer 
their queries, that they might not take us for spies, 
or what not, and apologize, on the plea of a coming 
storm, for not delaying longer on the way. 

As we passed the mountain, we had occasion again 
to wonder at the strange passion the middle classes 
here seem to have for travelling in carriages in 
preference to horseback or on foot. The road was 
frightful; in many places it was positively dan- 
gerous, and everywhere rough enough to dislocate 
the best-set bones; yet we met a young man of 
not more than twenty, sitting out all this in a 
waggon without springs, and smoking his meer- 
schaum just as composedly as if he had been 
enjoying himself exceedingly. 

When we had reached the other side of the 
mountain, and had again descended into a valley, 
we found ourselves in the midst of mining opera- 
tions on every side. Not a little stream but was 
employed in moving crushing-mills and washing 
ore. Most of those we remarked were working 
gold ores, which prevail over the whole of this 
district ; but some also those of mercury, which 


occurs in the form of cinnabar. I was sorry not 
to have an opportunity of seeing the process by 
which the mercury is extracted from the cinnabar; 
but I could not make out even where it is car- 
ried on. 

Abrud Banya, which we reached before sunset, is 
a little metropolis in its way, and, like many of the 
mining towns, astonishes the stranger by an exhi- 
bition of wealth and luxury which he little expects 
to find in the midst of the wildest natural scenery. 
Many of the houses are large, and really hand- 
somely built. Some have owed their origin to 
persons whom a lucky mining adventure has made 
suddenly rich, others to the officers of Government 
who, some how or other, manage to live well, and 
acquire wealth in spite of their paltry salaries : I 
leave the explanation of this interesting mystery 
to the penetration of their employers. 

24th. We got off this morning at an early hour, 
in hopes of reaching Zalathna before night, but the 
accounts of the distance as well as of what we have 
to see, are so various and contradictory, that it 
seems highly probable we may have to bivouac 
somewhere in the mountains. Our first point was 
the mines of Voros Patak, the Csetdtie or fortress, as 
it is called. For the first hour we kept along a good 
road, constructed for the conveyance of the ores 
from Voros Patak to Abrud Banya, where they are 
smelted. The country was a succession of moun- 
tains as far as the eye could reach, for the most part 


covered with wood, or pasture. We noticed several, 
however, the lower portions of which were conical, 
while their summits offered a singular appearance of 
a small table-land supported by bare cliffs. At a 
distance they looked like rocky islands, standing 
out from a stormy ocean. From their white appear- 
ance, I suspect them to be limestone. 

On leaving the road, which would have conducted 
us to the bottom of the valley in which lies Verb's 
Patak, we turned along the back of the mountain, 
and in about half an hour arrived at the Csetdtie 
Mike, or little fortress. This hill is so called from 
the appearance of a ruined fortress, or rather of a 
honeycomb, bored through and through on every 
side, which it presents. The most unlearned of my 
readers are probably aware that in the generality 
of mines, the metalliferous ores are found in veins 
which traverse the mountains in various directions, 
and that it is the duty of the miner to pursue 
these wherever they may go, removing only so 
much of the surrounding matter as is necessary to 
enable him to carry on his operations ; here, on the 
contrary, the whole mountain mass contains gold 
and it is, in consequence, cut away somewhat as 
we often see stone in a common quarry, and in 
this form it is conveyed to the crushing-mills, and 
broken up. Sometimes it is found too in a nest, 
or bunch, that is, a small extent containing much 
more ore than the surrounding mass. Formerly, 
however, it possessed veins too, of wonderful rich- 


ness, and these the early miners have pursued and 
exhausted, and it is to the open mouths of these 
old levels, and to the peculiar operations carried on 
at the present time, that it owes its remarkable 

The Csetdtie Mare (the great fortress), on the 
other side of the mountain, is still more curious. 
The whole top of the mountain has fallen in, and 
produced a kind of vast hall, open above, in the 
very heart of the mountain itself. From the side of 
the mountain we entered an old level, large enough 
for laden horses to pass through something like 
a covered way into a fortress and in a short time 
arrived at a large circular space completely walled in 
by solid rock. Above us was a wide opening, 
something like what the crater of a volcano may 
seem to Vulcan's friends as they amuse themselves 
below and round about a number of open passages 
of every size and shape. These openings were the 
remains of former workings, and they were highly 
illustrative of the history of mining in Transylvania. 
There were small passages scarcely large enough for 
the body of a man, which I am inclined to refer to 
the efforts of the barbarians both before and after 
the conquest of Dacia ; then there were the stately 
chiselled levels of the Roman workmen, and here 
and there marks of where the fire had done its 

* I strongly recommend the careful study of this mountain 
and district, to those interested in the inquiry, as to the origin 
and causes of metalliferous veins. 


work ; and again the more careless traces of the 
modern Wallack's labours. It is probable that the 
greater part of this space had been exhausted before 
the top fell in ; and from the appearance of the 
masses which still encumber it, I should imagine it 
to have been a mere shell. Some of the old Roman 
levels, which we followed deeper into the mountain 
to see the present workings, are really splendid. I 
think it is no exaggeration to say that a carriage 
and pair might drive along them. 

It is a curious fact in the history of labour that 
there are no large capitals employed in working 
these mines ; they are entirely in the hands of poor 
peasants, who work them either singly or in small 
associations of two or three persons. When the 
mountain was richer, Government found it worth 
while to work on its own account; but since it 
has become poorer, none but the peasants, it is 
said, can get a good profit out of it. Accordingly, 
when a peasant makes an application for a grant 
of so many square yards of mountain it is never 
refused him, unless it interferes with the workings 
of some of his neighbours. The working we visited 
was carried on by a father, two sons, and their 
mother. The father bored, blasted, and filled the 
panniers, while one son sometimes aided him, some- 
times drove the horse from the mine to the crush- 
ing-mill. Here the other son and the mother were 
engaged, or sometimes the mother alone. In other 
cases the same hands dig the ore, transport it to the 


river, dress it, wash it, and finally convey it to 
Abrud Banya. It is scarcely necessary to say, with 
such a system, that all these processes are carried 
on in the rudest possible manner. As we looked 
from the top of this mountain into the valley below, 
I think we must have seen not less than five hun- 
dred crushing-mills and washing-floors within the 
space of a couple of English miles. They consisted 
of a single small wheel, generally deficient in half 
its buckets, which moves three crushing-poles, none 
of which go equally, and one of which is generally 
wanting, or broken. As the crushed stuff falls 
down, it is carried by the water over a single board, 
and the small residue it leaves is collected, and 
without further dressing, transported to the smelt- 
ing-house. In spite of the excessive rudeness of 
these mechanical processes, and the loss they oc- 
casion, the peasants manage to get rich by them. 
Vb'ros Patak is said to abound with houses loaded 
with every luxury the ignorant Wallack peasant 
can think of. It is impossible to attribute this 
to any ocher cause than the stimulus which inter- 
est excites and the discoveries which the number 
of minds directed to one object, and so stimulated, 
are constantly producing. Of course, in these cir- 
cumstances a vast amount of inquisitive research 
and speculative energy is necessarily called into 
action ; and although those who employ it are very 
ignorant and very poor, and not very industrious, 
they can make a profit where scientific knowledge, 


unlimited capital, and well-directed division of la- 
bour, confess themselves unable to compete with 
advantage. This is, perhaps, one of the strongest 
facts in favour of individual energy against asso- 
ciated capital and its concomitant advantages, of 
any I know. 

I must not forget that in passing between the 
two Csetaties, we observed a peasant carefully 
scraping up the soil from the little path we fol- 
lowed,* and depositing it in a basket beside him, 
much in the same way as we see the children col- 
lect manure on our high roads,- but with this dif- 
ference, that the Transylvanian obtained gold ready 
made to his hand, while our own countrymen only 
acquire a means of aiding industry in its acquisition. 
I dare say everybody has heard of streets paved with 
gold ; but I must confess I had always believed it 
a romance ; here, however, it was a serious reality. 
In fact, the road was formed of stones from the 
nearest rock, which we already know contains gold, 
and as it had been raining during the night, it was 
no wonder that the water should have washed away 
the lighter particles which had been crushed to dust 
under the feet of the passers, and left the heavier 
ore glittering in the sun behind. 

After we had satisfied ourselves with admiration 
at the extraordinary phenomena of the Csetatie, 
and listened to the clattering of the five hundred 
mills of Voros Patak, we again took to our horses 

* Pliny describes nearly the same scene in his day. 


and pursued a hilly road, which was to lead us to 
the basaltic mountain. Our route lay over the 
same kind of green mountains we had seen the 
whole of the day, and was only varied by our stum- 
bling every now and then on some strange little 
mining settlement which had buried itself in a hid- 
den nook, or perched itself on a mountain top, as 
the object of its search might have dictated. We 
met a fat and jolly-looking Wallack peasant in the 
course of the morning, whom our guide pointed out 
to us as possessing more gold than any count or 
baron in the country. He was riding beside a 
waggon drawn by bullocks, in which sat his servant 
dressed just like himself. The guide could give us 
no idea of the amount of his wealth, which he said 
was so much that the man could not count it him- 
self. The only approximation to a fixed sum we 
could obtain, was, that he received a whole wag- 
gon-load of ducats from the Karlsburg mint every 
two months, in return for the gold he sent there. 
Whatever may be the troubles riches bring in their 
train, they certainly had not as yet affected our 
Wallack, for he was one of the merriest-looking 
peasants I ever saw. 

After about a two hours' ride we emerged from a 
wood of dark pines, and found ourselves in presence 
of the Detonata (thunderbolt), a basaltic rock of 
about two hundred feet in height, crowning the top 
of a mountain ; and though exceedingly curious, far 
less wonderful than we had been led to expect, or 



than those who had never seen anything of the kind 
before believed it to be. It is composed of co- 
lumns, some of which are nearly perpendicular and 
others horizontal. I observed no less than five 
different inclinations in these pillars. They are 
most irregularly formed and much smaller than 
those of Fingal's Cave, indeed, they can bear no 
comparison with the latter. Some of these columns 
have a slanting direction, and have been fancied 
by the peasants to have some resemblance to a 
fiddle, whence it is also called the Black Stone 
Fiddle (Piatra Csityera Nyagra). The name Deto- 


nata, by which it is commonly known, is not un- 
interesting, as it is accompanied by the belief that 
this rock has been produced by some sudden con- 
vulsion attended with the noise of thunder. It 
must be remembered that this tradition is found 
among the Dacians, the oldest inhabitants of the 
country ; and if it can be supposed to have its 
foundation in fact, I believe it would be the only 
instance in which we have any evidence of the 
production of a columnar basaltic rock, since this 
globe has been inhabited by man. 

While we were climbing the back of these rocks, 
and Miklos was spreading out the contents of our 
prog basket under the shade of the pines, the guide 
had disappeard in search of a frozen spring near 
the base of the mountain, in hopes of procuring 
some ice to cool our wine. He returned, however, 
empty-handed, for it had formed so compact a 
mass that he could not detach any of it without a 
hatchet. Our ride, however, had furnished us with 
a good apology for such luxuries, and stretched out 
on a soft bed of moss, we managed to do credit to 
our meal even without iced wine. It was already 
four o'clock before we could leave the Detonata, 
and we had still another mine to visit and a long 
journey before us ere we could reach Zelathna. 
Our horses were refreshed, however, by their food 
and rest, and we again mounted and pushed on. 

There was nothing very remarkable in the mine 
we visited. It belonged to a private company, who 


were just erecting one of those curious water en- 
gines which are peculiar I believe to Hungary. It 
consisted of a cylinder and piston, much like that 
of a steam-engine, but instead of the piston being 
moved by the expansive power of steam, it is pressed 
down by the weight of a vertical column of water 
which passes out at the bottom, where another 
stream is admitted which forces the piston up again. 
Its great advantage is in the vast power obtained 
by it from a very small quantity of water. Of 
course it can only be used where the fall is great. 
There were three hundred men employed in this 
mine. I have been told by the chief proprietor 
that the pay of the Hauer (cutter), the lowest 
order of workmen, answering to our tut workers, 
who is paid by the piece, amounts to about six 
or eight florins, c. m. (twelve or sixteen shillings) 
per month. They rarely work more than four or 
five days per week, and never more than eight 
hours per day. The Sprenger (blaster), and Hut- 
leute (smelters), have fixed wages, varying from 
ten to twenty florins, c. m. (twenty to forty shil- 
lings) per month. My informant adds, " the double 
of this amount would not be too much if the steal- 
ing could be prevented ; but as things exist at 
present, that is impossible." 

After a six hours 1 ride through woods and over 
mountains, at first illuminated by all the brilliancy of 
an autumn sunset, and then varied by the cold tints 
of the pale moon, we at last arrived at Zalathna; 


and having given orders for an early start to- 
morrow, lay down to dream of gold mines and 
golden pavements, and waggon -loads of ducats, and 
I know not what beside. 

Before I leave this curious district, however, and 
with it all further reference to mining matters, 
let me say a few words on the gold-washing, and 
gold- washers of Transylvania. 

In some parts of Hungary, and in almost every 
part of Transylvania, but especially in that through 
which our wanderings have lately conducted us, 
a large quantity of gold is annually procured from 
the sand deposited by the rivers and brooks- 
There is scarcely a single river in Transylvania of 
which the sands do not contain more or less gold, 
but the most celebrated are the Aranyos (golden), 
the Maros, the Strigy, the Koros, and the Szamos. 
The gold is commonly found in the upper part 
of these streams, before the sand becomes mixed 
with mud from the richer lands of the valleys. 
There can be no doubt that the gold is derived 
from the decomposition of metalliferous rocks, from 
the attrition of detached masses, and sometimes, 
though more rarely, from the breaking up of a vein 
of ore itself, by means of running water. As it is 
mixed in very small quantities with other debris, it 
becomes only worth the search where it has been 
collected by the operation of natural causes in a 
greater proportionate quantity than that in which 
it originally existed in short, only when nature 



has dressed and washed it. This occurs after a 
flood, at the elbows, or bends of rivers, where 
the water, surcharged with broken matter, which 
its unusual force has enabled it to bring down, 
flows slower and deposits the heavier particles, 
carrying the lighter further on. In such spots the 
gold-washers collect when the flood has abated ; 
and taking up the sand in wooden shovels or scoops, 
they move it about in a small quantity of water till 
all but the metalliferous particles are washed away. 

The gold occurs in various forms, from the most 
complete dust to pieces of the size of a pigeon's 
egg, though I need scarcely say the former is by 
far the most common. I believe the greater part 
of the gold obtained by the gold- washers is nearly 
pure, indeed, I am not aware that they attempt 
to gather it when mixed with other matter. I 
have no means of ascertaining the amount of gold 
washed in Transylvania. In the Banat I have 
seen it stated, that from 1813 to 1818, the pro- 
ceeds amounted to two thousand one hundred and 
thirty-eight ducats. 

This branch of industry is almost entirely in the 
hands of the gipsies. The Government grants a 
gipsy band the privilege of washing the sands of 
a certain brook, on condition of their paying a 
yearly rent, which is never less than three ducats 
in pure gold per head for every washer. A gipsy 
judge, or captain, settles this matter with the 
Government, and is answerable for the rest of 


the tribe from whom he collects the whole of 
their earnings, and, after paying the tribute, re- 
divides it. 

In returning to Klausenburg, we remained some- 
time at Nagy Enyed, where there is a large Pro- 
testant college, to visit Professor Szasz, one of the 
most distinguised men in Transylvania, both in a 
literary and political point of view. Elected by 
the citizens of Enyed, to represent them at the Diet, 
Professor Szasz, in spite of the prejudice felt by the 
aristocracy at this intrusion of a literary parvenu 
within their circle, gained so great a power by the 
accuracy and extent of his knowledge, so great an 
influence by the simplicity and uprightness of his 
character, and so willing an auditory from the 
brilliancy of his eloquence and the logical correct- 
ness of his arguments, that he soon became one 
of the most important leaders of the moderate 
opposition. Moderate as he was, however, Professor 
Szasz has not escaped the anger of the Govern- 
ment ; and he, too, is under trial, on some trumpery 
charges, evidently got up purely to annoy and in- 
timidate him. We found the Professor at his books 
in a braided military-looking coat, and sporting a 
pair of very imposing mustaches. His dress, how- 
ever, was only the academical costume of Enyed, 
where both students and professors wear the na- 
tional uniform. As for the mustaches, of late years 
all but the clergy have worn them ; and I should 
not be surprised if they did so too before long. 

x 2 


After some conversation, in which the Professor 
explained to us the history and present state of 
the college of Enyed, he kindly offered to show us 
over it. 

It appears to have been originally founded at 
Karlsburg, by Bethlen Gabor, for the education of 
the members of the Reformed Church, and to have 
been endowed by him with very considerable estates. 
It was afterwards removed to Enyed, on the destruc- 
tion of Karlsburg, by Apafy. During a period of 
temporary distress I forget the exact time when 
the college was in danger of perishing from the 
want of funds, a deputation was sent over by the 
Protestants of Transylvania, to request pecuniary 
aid from their brethren in England. The call was 
generously answered, and a fund was formed, which 
is still deposited in the Bank of England, and from 
which the college of Enyed receives an annual re- 
venue of 1,000/. It is wonderful what a feeling of 
friendship, what a sentiment of brotherhood with 
England, this gift, though now completely forgotten 
among us, still maintains among the Transylvanian 
Protestants. The revenue derived from this source 
has been expended for some years past on the erec- 
tion of a range of new buildings for the residence of 
the students, which, when finished, will make a very 
respectable appearance. 

There are in all about one thousand students, 
of whom three hundred are Togati, or DcaTc; the 
rest, mere children. The course of study is divided 


into three periods. The first is so arranged, that 
at the end of it those who are intended for the 
smaller trades shall have acquired a sufficient edu- 
cation to fit them for their avocations, while it has 
served also as a foundation for a more extended 
course of education to the others. It includes re- 
ligion, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, geography, 
a little history, particularly that of their own coun- 
try, with some notices of natural history, drawing, 
and singing. 

The next division includes three more years, and 
is dedicated, in addition to a further developement 
of the preceding subjects, to Latin, Greek, and 
German; mathematics, belles lettres, rhetoric, and 

After these six years' preliminary study, the 
scholar becomes a Deak, and enters on what may 
be called a regular academical course, which lasts 
six years more. He has now, too, the privilege of 
becoming a tutor to the younger scholars. The 
first four years he must study mathematics, physics, 
chemistry, natural history, metaphysics, logic, aesthe- 
tics, natural law, ethics, physiology, history, laws 
and constitution of Transylvania, with its statistics, 
politics, &c. &c. The last two years, the student 
is allowed to choose his own course of study, I 
presume, to enable him to perfect himself in any 
speciality to which he may choose to dedicate him- 
self. It is during this period, that the divinity 
students take their Hebrew and theology courses. 


To teach all this knowledge, there are only eight 
professors, none of whom have more than 50/. a 
year. I need scarcely say, that there must be 
much that is very superficial, and, therefore, 
nearly useless, in a course of so much pretension, 
when the means are so slight for rendering it 

Several students commonly live in the same 
room. In the junior classes, they pay some very 
small sum, I think a fee of four-shillings, on en- 
tering a new class; in the higher, the instruction 
is not only gratis, but they even receive assistance 
from the funds of the college.* 

Professor Szasz introduced us to one of his col- 
leagues, Professor Herepei, who enjoys the highest 
reputation for pulpit eloquence of any clergyman of 
the Reformed Church in Transylvania. We had 
proposed to visit the library and museum, but the 
curator was out of the way, and the key nowhere 
to be found. Neither the one nor the other is 
said to be in a very flourishing condition. The 
students and professors come together here much 
more than with us. They have a club, or casino, 
in the town, where they meet, and smoke, and 
read the journals together, without stiffness or 

* Besides Enyed, the Reformed Church in Transylvania has 
colleges in Klausenburg, Maros Vsarhely and Udvarhely, and 
Gymnasia in Zilah, Szaszvaros, Decs, Kezdi Vasarhely, Thorda, 
and Salzburg. 


For general education, I believe Enyed stands 
higher than any other college in Transylvania. Its 
pupils are commonly supposed to receive a strong- 
bias towards Liberalism during their academical 
residence. It is on this account, that Government 
has been making some attempts to interfere with 
the system of education among the Protestants ; 
but it has been resisted as illegal by the Consistory, 
and, I believe, with success. 




The Szeklers their ancient Rights and modern Position. The 
Mezoseg. Maros Vasarhely. Chancellor Teleki and his 
Library. A Szekler Inn. The Szekler Character. Salt 
Rocks at Szovata. The Cholera and the spare Bed. 
Miseria cum aceto. Glories of Grock. Salt-Mines of Parayd. 

Udvarhely. St. Pal. Excursion to Almas. Supersti- 
tion. The Cavern. Sepsi St. Gyorgy. Kesdi Vasarhely. 

The French Brewer. The Szekler Schools. Szekler 
Hospitality. The Budos. The Harom-Szek. 

WHEN next we left Klausenburg, it was to visit 
the east and south of Transylvania, two districts 
inhabited by different nations and governed by dif- 
ferent laws from those in which we had hitherto 

I have already said that the Szeklers were found 
by the Magyars in the country which they now oc- 
cupy on their first entrance, and on account of simi- 
larity of language and origin, were granted favours 
refused to the original inhabitants of the country. 
They were allowed the full enjoyment of their free- 
dom on condition of defending the eastern frontier. 

Even from this early period the Szeklers claim to 


have been all equal, all free, all noble ; a privileged 
class and a servile class were alike unknown the 
only difference among the richer of them being de- 
rived from the number of men each could bring into 
the field, among the poorer, from the circumstance 
of their serving on horseback or on foot. Changes, 
however, have crept in amongst them in the lapse 
of so many centuries. The richer and more power- 
ful have gradually introduced on their own estates 
the system in operation in the rest of Transylvania, 
and the peasant and the seigneur are now found in 
the Szekler-land as elsewhere. Titles too, and let- 
ters of nobility have been freely scattered through 
the country, and have gradually cast a slur on those 
who possess them not. Taxation also, and the 
forcible introduction of the border system, instead 
of the desultory service of former times, have made 
great changes in the position of the Szeklers. As 
almost all these changes, however, have been intro- 
duced without the consent of the people, and often 
by the employment of open force, they are still re- 
garded as illegal by the Szeklers, who are conse- 
quently among the most discontented of any portion 
of the Transylvanians. It would be absurd in me 
to enter further into the question of their laws 
and institutions, for even the most learned among 
themselves, confess that there is so much confusion 
in them, that even they cannot make them out. 
This I know, that every Szekler claims to be a 
noble born, and declares that if he had his right 


he should neither pay taxes nor serve but when 
an insurrection of the whole nobility of the country 
took place. I know also that, in fact, there are 
among them Counts and Barons who call them- 
selves magnates, nobles by letters patent, and free 
Szeklers without letters, besides borderers and pea- 
sants, and that the free Szeklers and nobles, who 
have not more than two peasants, pay taxes, just 
like the peasants, though in other respects they 
have rights like the nobles. 

All these circumstances were not known to us 
when we set out on this expedition. Every Hun- 
garian you speak to is sure to tell you that the 
Szeklers are all noble, and you consequently ex- 
pect to find a whole nation with equal rights and 
privileges, among which freedom from seigneurial 
oppression, and from government taxation, are both 
alike included. This was the opinion we were led 
to form, and of course our curiosity was propor- 
tionately raised to observe their influence on the 
state of the people. It was only when we saw, how 
much matters seemed to be managed here as in 
other parts of the country, that we got to the real 
state of the case, and discovered that though the 
Szeklers may have been once all equal and noble, 
and though they still lay claim to all manner of 
rights and privileges, they have not in reality 
enjoyed them, for I know not how many centuries. 

Our route lay through one of the most curious 
parts of Transylvania, the Mezoseg. This is a 

THE MEZOSJta. 315 

district of considerable extent, characterized by the 
fertility of its soil, and the extreme misery of its 
inhabitants. The people are mostly Wallacks, and 
appear worse clothed, worse lodged, and more un- 
civilized than the_mhabitants ofjany other part of 
the country. The aspect of the Mesoseg is not less 
curious than the state of its population. It is the 
only hilly country I ever saw without a single point 
of picturesque beauty. As we ascended one hill, 
and descended another, during a long day's drive, 
the self-same prospect of brown sun-burnt pasture, 
unbroken by trees or water, was ever before us. In 
so untempting a land, country-houses are extremely 
rare ; indeed, the Mezos6g seems to have been alto- 
gether a forgotten district, both by nature and man. 
It is very likely, however, to make itself better 
known before long. Its extensive pastures begin 
to acquire a value, now that the growth of Me- 
rino wool has been introduced, and the coal, of 
which traces have been found in several places, 
will probably produce a rich reward to whomsoever 
shall work it with skill and prudence. 

We reached Maros Vasarhely, the capital of the 
Szekler-land, about twelve o'clock on the second 
morning, and proceeded at once to call on Pro- 
fessor Dosa, a friend of Baron W 's, our com- 
panion in this journey, who politely offered to 
show us the town. Although there is nothing very 
imposing in the wide streets and small houses, 
of which Maros Vasarhely is mostly composed, it 



is rather an important place, and, in winter, many 
of the gentry in the neighbourhood take up their 
residence within it. Moreover, both Protestants 
and Catholics have colleges here ; the Protestant 
contains eight hundred, the Catholic three hun- 
dred scholars, and these institutions give something 
of a literary air to its society. Maros Vasarhely 
is also the seat of the highest legal tribunal in 
Transylvania, the Royal table, and it is in conse- 
quence the great law school of the country. Almost 
all the young nobles who desire to take any part in 
public business, as well as all the lawyers, after hav- 
ing finished the regular course of study, think it 
necessary, under the name of Juraten, to pass a year 
or two here in reading law and attending the court. 
The great pride of the town is the fine library of 
the Telekis, founded by the Chancellor Teleki, and 
left to his family on the condition of its being 
always open to the public. It contains about eighty 
thousand volumes, which are placed in a very hand- 
some building, and kept in excellent order. A 
reading-room is attached, which is always open, 
where books are supplied to any one who de- 
mands them. There are funds for its support, and 
the family still continue to add to it as far as they 
are able. It is most rich in choice editions of the 
Latin and Greek classics. These works were the 
favourite studies of the Chancellor himself, who 
was a man of very extensive learning. What ren- 
ders this the more remarkable is, the fact of his 


laving entirely acquired it after the age of twenty, 
and that too, during the little leisure afforded him 
from public business. Among the bibliographical 
curiosities pointed out to us, was an illuminated 
Latin Bible, which was said to be written on a 
vegetable leaf. The substance employed was cer- 
tainly not papyrus ; I should have taken it for very 
fine vellum. There was also a MS. copy of a work 
by Servetus, which we were told was unpublished, 
though, on turning over the fly-leaf, we found a quo- 
tation from an edition of the same work printed 
in London. There was a beautiful MS. of Tacitus 
from the library of Mathias Corvinus, and splendidly 
bound, as indeed the whole of that library was. 

We were shown the Casino, which seems a 
flourishing and well-conducted establishment. It 
numbers two hundred members. As many of the 
students are too poor to become subscribers to it, 
and as it is the wish of the professors to give as 
many as possible an opportunity of becoming ac- 
quainted with the utility and conduct of such in- 
stitutions, free admissions are granted to six of 
them every month, and such as choose to avail 
themselves of it, take it in rotation. 

In showing us the old Gothic church, which oc- 
cupies the centre of the former fortress, Professor 
Dosa observed that it was very nearly being de- 
stroyed during the reign of Maria Theresa, because 
the Protestants were not then allowed to repair 
their churches ; and it was not till Joseph II. broke 


down the force of the bigots that the Vasarhely 
Protestants were permitted to new - roof their 

The next day we passed through a hilly and 
rather pretty country, with many villages, differing 
in no respect from hundreds we had seen elsewhere, 
till we arrived at St. Gyorgy, a village on the 
Kis Kiikiillo the small Kokel, a river we have 
before mentioned, as celebrated for its wines. We 
had been told we should find an inn here, and be 
able to bait our horses, and get a dinner for our- 
selves. It was true enough, an inn was found, 
but the poor landlady declared she had nothing to 
give us but dry bread, and what was still worse, 
she had not any corn for our horses. The servants, 
nevertheless, proceeded to take the horses out of 
the carriages, in spite of this bad prospect, and on 
my inquiring what was the use of stopping at a 
place where neither man nor horse could find his 
profit, they only smiled, and said they would try 
if something could not be done. At one end of 
the village there was a large manor-house, and 
the coachman at once made for that, sure there 
would be corn there, and hoping that the steward 
would sell them what they wanted. In coming 
along too, Miklos had fixed his eyes on some hens 
which were amusing themselves on the high road, 
and he soon returned from his forage, bringing with 
him both the hens and their eggs. Our servants 
were fortunately good cooks, and while one set to 



work to compose an omelette, the other produced 
an egg soup and a couple of roast fowls. There 
is certainly nothing like having a servant who 
knows the work he may have to turn his hand 
to : I wonder how a well-behaved English valet 
would have got us out of our difficulty ! 

The plan we had laid down for ourselves in 
traversing the Szekler-land, was to visit some salt- 
mines at Szovata, pass through Udvarhely, to an 
estate of our friend's ; from thence, make an ex- 
cursion to visit a celebrated cave in the neighbour- 
hood, and so pass on into the Saxon-land, visiting 
its two chief towns, Kronstadt and Hermanstadt, 
and then return to Klausenburg. 

In pursuit of this plan, we followed the little 
Kukiillo nearly to its source, along a very beau- 
tiful valley, highly cultivated, and, though naturally 
far from rich, bearing good crops. The Szeklers 
inhabit a mountainous country, and are conse- 
quently poor ; but it was easy to see they are far 
more industrious than any of the Transylvanians 
we had before visited. From all I heard of their 
character, they seem a good deal to resemble the 
Scotch. The same pride and poverty, the same 
industry and enterprise, and if they are not belied, 
the same sharp regard to their own interests. They 
speak a dialect of the Magyar, which differs but 
slightly from that used in other parts of the coun- 
try, except in the peculiar sing-song intonation in 
which it is uttered. Like most mountaineers, they 


are but little distinguished for polished and refined 
manners; even the wealthier are commonly re- 
markable for a greater rudeness in their bearing 
than is seen in other parts of the country. This 
is more than made up, however, by a greater 
degree of information, and by a firm adherence 
to their political principles. Like the Scotch, they 
seem to have advanced in education to an extra- 
ordinary degree, so that there are few villages 
without their schools, few of the humblest Szeklers 
who cannot read and write. They are of various 
religions, and each sect is said to be strongly 
attached to its own.* The Unitarians are in greater 
proportion here than in any other part of the 
country ; they have about one hundred churches in 
the Szekler-land. Excepting the Jews and Greeks, 
all religions enjoy equal rights. 

We reached Szovata towards evening, and, as 
there was no possibility of lodging there for the 
night, we made the best haste we could to find a 
guide, and see what was to be seen before dark. 
This was no such easy matter, however; the cholera 
had just set in, and its first victim had been one 
of the chief men of the village. His funeral had 
taken place the day we arrived ; and as it is a cus- 
tom of the Szeklers to get especially drunk on these 
occasions, to dissipate their grief, we found nearly 
the whole village as glorious in liquor as their 

* Among the Catholics are reckoned the members of the 
Armenian Catholic, and Greek Catholic churches. 


friend could be in sanctity. By some chance, one 
sober man was found at last, and we followed him 
beyond the village in the direction of a small green 
hill, which we could perceive at some distance. 
Judge of our surprise, as we drew nearer, to see 
before us a real rock of salt ! Yes, our green hill 
was pure rock salt, when seen near, as white as 
snow, but covered at the top and in many places 
on the sides by a layer of clay, on which grass and 
trees grew abundantly. Before arriving at the hill 
itself, we had to cross a little brook which pre- 
sented a most curious appearance, its banks, and 
the numerous stones which stand out from its shal- 
low bed, are all encrusted with crystals of salt, and 
that, too, so exactly in the form of hoar frost, that, 
in spite of the warm rays of an autumn sunset, I 
could scarce persuade myself they were not so till 
I had tasted them. At this point, a guard, armed 
with a musket, met us, and accompanied us as long 

we remained near. In fact, guards surround the 
whole of the hill, to prevent the peasants from 
stealing the salt. This salt-bed, which extends to a 
considerable distance, is not worked for salt at all ; 
what is required for its immediate neighbourhood, 
is obtained from Parayd, a few miles off. In spite 
of all the guards, however, stealing goes on to a 
considerable extent ; indeed, one of the first ne- 
cessaries of life, so costly if bought, and here in 
such abundance, and to be had for the trouble of 
picking up, must offer too strong a temptation for 

VOL. ii. Y 


the poor man to withstand. Probably, too, the 
guards themselves are the greatest robbers. There 
seems to be no end to the quantity of salt in this 
neighbourhood ; in many places, the peasant has 
only to scrape away the dirt of his cottage floor 
to obtain salt beneath it. It is said, that in Tran- 
sylvania alone, there is sufficient salt to supply all 
Europe for some thousand years ! 

As we got nearer, we found the herbage, and 
the crops of Indian corn, looking as well on the 
salt rock as on any other soil ; nor could we observe 
any difference in the plants here and in the neigh- 
bourhood. We examined several of the cliffs, which 
were very beautiful. In some, the rain has formed 
channels and furrows, which again have given rise 
to pinnacles, covered with bright crystals of salt, 
something like Gothic minarets in miniature. On 
the other side, we were told, the cliffs are much 
higher and finer; but it was at least three miles 
round, and it was already too dark to allow us to 
undertake the journey. We made a stout resolu- 
tion to return the next day, and get a sketch of 
these wonderful cliffs, but it turned out so wet, 
that it was impossible. 

When we got back to the village, and the tipsy 
gentry had learned our friend's name, one to 
which all Szekler-land is deeply attached, it was 
with the utmost difficulty we could get away. 
The dead man's house, as the best in the village, 
was placed at our disposal, and we were almost 


forced to accept his spare bed by these hospitable 

I really do not know what notion the inhabitants 
of the Szekler-land mean to express by the words, 
" a comfortable inn ; " but I am quite sure it is 
something very different from what all the rest 
of the world mean. Twice, to-day, have we found 
ourselves wofully mistaken in our calculations in 
consequence; this morning, we found a comfort- 
able inn meant an empty room, and nothing to 
eat ; to-night, it seemed to mean no room and 
nothing to eat either ! Everybody had agreed, that 
at Parayd we should be splendidly accommodated, 
and so we declined the dead man's bed and pushed 
on to this same Parayd with the greatest confi- 
dence. Alas ! we were doomed to be disappointed. 
There was only one spare room, and a little closet ; 
and no sooner had we alighted, than they told us 
the room was taken, and nothing but the closet 
could we have. Seated at a table, in one corner, 
we found the happy occupant of the room, just 
finishing, as we supposed, his supper, with bread 
and ewe-milk cheese. After the first salutations, 
the stranger who turned out to be an old officer of 
the Szekler Borderers, politely offered us the larger 
room, saying, the closet would be sufficient to con- 
tain him ; but, when he heard us ask for supper, the 
old gentleman shook his head, and pointing to 
the cheese and bread, and a bottle of pale sour- 
looking wine, exclaimed, despondingly, miseria cum 

T 2 


aceto ! and nothing else to be had ! So much for a 
comfortable inn in the Szeklerland. 

I am afraid that, with all their good qualities, the 
Szeklers are rather behindhand in the comforts 
perhaps they call them superfluous luxuries of 
other parts of Europe. Even in their own houses, 
the gentry show but little taste for comfort or clean- 
liness. In many cases, this may be attributable to 
poverty then I have not a word to say ; but in 
others, I have seen an admixture of tawdry splen- 
dour with squalid neglect, which presented a con- 
trast highly ridiculous. We avoided private houses 

as much as possible, for W had just as great a 

dislike as we had to ask for hospitality from those 
he did not know; and, besides, so many Szeklers 
speak only Magyar, that we could have obtained 
little, either of amusement or instruction, from the 
intercourse ; but we were sometimes driven to it 
in spite of ourselves, and I will mention the result 
of one such instance. We were introduced into 
a large handsome house, where the drawing-room 
and boudoir were filled with fashionable modern 
furniture, where the lady, who reigned over them, 
was handsomely, not to say showily, dressed, and 
where the whole establishment manifested a pre- 
tension to style, rarely seen in these mountains. 
When we retired to our bed-rooms, however, we 
got a little behind the scenes, and found the play 
by no means so imposing. Half-a-dozen panes in 
the windows were broken ; the furniture was of the 


shabbiest description; the floor filthy to the last 
degree ; and, as for the beds, it was too evident 
to admit of a question that the linen on them had 

not been refreshed for many a good day. W 

was so excessively disgusted, and so angry that such 
a circumstance should have occurred before stran- 
gers, that I had the greatest possible difficulty to 
prevent him ordering out the carriages arid leaving 
the house immediately. After soothing him down, 
however, to a reasonable pitch, he contented him- 
self with directing all the filthy things to be thrown 
out of the room, and our own bed linen, to 
be arranged by our servants in their place; nor 
was it till next morning that we could make him 
promise to leave the place without abusing our host 
for his negligent hospitality. But to return to 

We were fortunately persons not very easily dis- 
pirited ; and we accordingly devoured the black 
bread and turpentine cheese for they wrap it in 
the bark of the pine to give it a turpentine flavour 
with excellent appetite ; and it having entered 
into Miklos's prolific brain, that the common spirit 
of the country, if mixed with sugar and hot water, 
might make something like what the English sailors 
had taught him to call grock, he came in grinning 
at this happy thought with a large jug of a most 
well-smelling liquid compounded on these princi- 
ples, which, with the aid of our Turkish pipes, made 
us almost think our Szekler inn was comfortable. 


Iri the mean time, the servants had transported 
the greater part of a haystack into the room, and 
the whole floor was covered over with a thick layer 
of hay ; our carriage cushions and our bed-clothes 
were disposed in the best fashion to serve for beds ; 
and before our pipes were finished, we had not only 
the consolation of having supped, but had the pro- 
spect of a good night's rest before us. Nothing like 
good temper, good health, and a servant that knows 
how to make grock ! 

The next morning we visited some of the salt- 
mines, which contained nothing sufficiently remark- 
able to detain us. They work these mines only in 
winter, and that but to a very small extent. Those 
of Maros Ujvar, on the banks of the Maros, are so 
much more conveniently situated for transporting 
the salt, that these are only used to supply the im- 
mediate neighbourhood. This salt-bed is said to be 
of even greater extent that that of Szovata, though 
it generally lies deeper. Instead of the bright white 
colour we had observed yesterday, the salt was here 
of a dark green hue. Even here, where the whole 
soil seems to be salt, we were assured that it was 
often smuggled from Moldavia, and sold in the 
interior of the country. 

At every step we took, the cholera now met us. 
One of our horses had cast a shoe, and we had to 
wait some hours before we could get it replaced, 
for the blacksmith's wife was just taken ill, and he 
could not be prevailed upon to leave her till she 


felt better. Nor were these the worst inconveni- 
ences ; some of our own party had felt far from well 
this morning, and we were naturally rendered ex- 
ceedingly anxious lest the ailment should turn out 
to be cholera. Though no believers in contagion, 
we were aware that whatever were the causes pro- 
ducing the disease, we were just as much exposed 
to them as the inhabitants of the country could be, 
and besides, the very idea of travelling for pleasure 
where death seemed hovering round our every step 
was so painful that we hastened on more quickly 
than we otherwise should have done through this 
beautiful country.* 

At Udvarhely, one of the principal towns of the 
Szekler-land, we had intended to remain the 
next night, but the inn was so very miserable, and 
the whole place so far from attractive, that we 
determined, after baiting our horses, to try if we 
could not reach St. Pal, a village some fifteen miles 

further, where W had a house and small estate. 

Not that Udvarhely is without interest. As we 
descended the long hill at the foot of which it lies, 
its three large churches with their double spires, 

* To those who believe in the antiseptic powers of cer- 
tain substances and their utility in preventing the spread of 
epidemic diseases, it may afford matter for reflection, that 
here, where everything, from the corn you eat to the water 
you wash in, perhaps the very air you breathe, is impregnated 
with salt one of the strongest antiseptics the cholera raged 
with as much violence as in the poisoned alleys of a great 


its ruined castle, its large white college and hand- 
some Town-house, had led us to expect great things ; 
but then the inn with its dirty room, its unglazed 
windows, and its beds of dingy hue, put us out of 
conceit with all the rest. While our horses were' 

baiting W took us to call on an electioneering 

friend of his, a merry little radical grocer, one of 
those men who love good dinners and long speeches 
the latter his own, and the former his friends 1 . 
The little grocer took us up to the castle, once 
one of the strongest places in the land, and which 
had often been sharply contested between the Im- 
perial and Transylvanian forces. We reached St. 
Pal somewhere about midnight, and though the 
house was undergoing repairs and was inhabited 
only by some workmen, we were soon furnished 
with quarters better than we had met with since 
we had left Klausenburg. 

We remained a couple of days at St. Pal, in part 
that W might arrange some matters of busi- 
ness with his steward, in part to rest our horses. 
The first was spent in snipe-shooting in a salt marsh 
just below the village, for here, too, we were still in 
the country of salt. Though no salt-bed is seen, 
the brook, the springs, the marsh, and even the 
herbage are all strongly impregnated with salt. 
We were obliged to send some miles off to obtain 
fresh water, for to us the salt water was intoler- 
able, though from habit the people of the country 
drink it without injury. 


For the next day we had engaged the little 
grocer of Udvarhely to show us a cave which was at 
some distance, and he accordingly arrived by good 
time in the morning with a supply of his own 
torches, and of his neighbours' mountain ponies, to 
show us the wonders of Almas. As it was some 
distance from, St. Pal, two peasants were sent off 
early in the morning with a waggon and provisions, 
and we followed at our leisure, a goodly cavalcade, 
consisting of the grocer, the clergyman, the steward, 
our three selves and one or two servants the latter 
attending us for no other purpose that I could 
divine, save to fill and light the pipes. Our ride 
led us through a country of mountains and woods, 
sometimes, though rarely, varied by a well-cultivated 
valley affording subsistence to some neighbouring 
village. A village, Homarod Almas, through which 
we passed, was one of the largest and most flourish- 
ing we had met with in Transylvania. The situ- 
ation of this place one would have thought as 
healthy as possible ; the country round it was fruit- 
ful and lovely as a garden, the inhabitants were 
evidently well off, and the houses large and airy, 
yet here the cholera was raging more fiercely than 
in any other place we had yet visited. The grave- 
yard seemed to have been fresh ploughed up, so 
completely was it covered with new-made graves, 
and several were standing open for occupants 
already prepared to fill them. 

As we left the village, we saw a mark of super- 


stition which we should not have expected where 
education is said to be generally diffused. It was a 
small piece of coarse linen cloth cut into the shape 
of a pair of trowsers, and suspended over the middle 
of the road by a string attached to a tree on either 
side. The peasants believe that in the Cave of 
Almas which we were about to visit, two fairies are 
imprisoned in a state of nudity, and that they weep 
and wail their unhappy captivity without being 
able to escape. Their cries are said to be often 
heard, when the wind is high, proceeding from the 
dark valley of the Almas, and it is to the malice 
of these imprisoned fairies that the peasants attri- 
bute the visitation of the cholera. It appears that 
the received method of propitiating these gentry is 
to offer them clothing, and accordingly the trowsers 
at this end of the village, and a shirt exhibited in 
a similar manner at the other, were intended to 
appease them, let them come which road they would. 
This was all I could learn of the matter from the 
steward, and I am still not very sure that it is 
correct, for he was much more anxious to assure me 
that he knew it was all nonsense and that he did 
not believe in such ignorant superstitions, than to 
satisfy my curiosity on the matter. 

On a green hill overlooking a deep valley, or 
rather cleft in the rocks, for it is much deeper than 
it is wide, we found the provision waggon already 
arrived, a large fire lighted, and preparations for 
cooking in a state of progress. Here we were to 



leave our horses in the care of the peasants. Cling- 
ing to the trees which cover its sides, we reached the 
bottom of the valley, which is occupied by a brook : 
tins brook a little farther on is seen to enter an open- 
ing in the base of a cliff, and disappear. It is said 
to come out again on the other side, at some miles' 
distance. It, was a beautiful scene we had now 
before us; the high steep rocks of limestone, the 
hanging woods, the little stream, and its stony bed, 



were all striking, and the addition of the dark 
mouths of three or four huge caverns gaping at us 
on either side, gave it a character of mysterious 
beauty to which it would have been strange had 
not the fancies of the peasants attached a legend. 
The sorrows of the poor imprisoned fairies would 
easily find voices here when the winds raged 
through these narrow passages. 

Leaving the smaller caverns, which we were 
told were of little depth, we stumbled along the 
stony path to the further end of the valley. On 
our road we put up a csdszdr maddr (gelinotte), a 
kind of grouse,* very common in the mountains 
of Transylvania. It was so tame that it did not 
fly more than a few yards, and continued running 
on at a short distance before us, apparently without 
the slightest fear. Man is still almost a stranger 

The mouth of the great cavern is at a considerable 
height above the bottom of the valley, and can only 
be reached by means of wooden steps, which some 
former visitors have had made for the purpose. It 
is half closed by a thick wall, now partly broken, but 
which has evidently been built as a defence from 
enemies. It is said to have been used by the 
Szeklers as a retreat during the insurrection of 

* The black-cock is also found in this country, and I suspect 
the cock of the woods too ; for they frequently speak of a wild 
peacock (uad pdva), to which they attribute much the same 
habits and appearance as characterise the cock of the woods. 


the Wallacks under Hora and Kloska, but Tran- 
sylvania has known so many periods when a place 
of refuge was required for the peaceable citizen, 
from the cruelty of savage enemies both domestic 
and foreign, that it is more difficult to say when 
it may not have been so used, than when it was. 
This part of the country, from its frontier position^ 
was peculiarly subject to foreign incursions, and 
when they were made by such nations as the 
Tartars and Turks, they first murdered all they 
could lay hold on, and the second spared only to 
drive away into captivity,* it is no wonder a 
retreat of this kind should have been well de- 
fended. Even our friend's house at St. Pal, though 
never intended as a place of defence, bears marks 
of precaution attributable to a similar cause. The 
stables are constructed below the house itself, and 
can be entered by a secret door and winding stair- 
case, from a room above, so that if the house was 
attacked by a marauding party in front, the family 
would have time to mount their horses and escape 
by a lower room, which opens into the fields on the 
other side, ere the oak doors and well-stanchioned 

* Bethlen Gabor obtained his election to the throne of Tran- 
sylvania, with the aid of some Turkish troops ; not that they 
were required to fight, but their presence gave confidence to the 
party of Bethlen, and enabled them to depose the weak Bathori 
Gabor without a struggle. Notwithstanding the peaceable cha- 
racter of the expedition, the Turks did not retire with less than 
eighty thousand Transylvanian prisoners, of whom they made 


windows in the front were forced by the attack- 
ing party. 

The entrance to the cavern, which we had now 
gained, is a vast hall covered with a noble arched 
roof, and opening on every side to dark passages, 
which lead into the interior of the mountain. 
After we had carefully studied a plan of the 
cavern, lighted our torches, and arranged the or- 
der of the procession, the little grocer of Ud- 
varhely, no peasant guide could be found to 
undertake it, put himself at our head and led 
the way. In faith it was no easy matter to 
choose the right road, for there were so many 
openings, and it was so very easy to lose the direc- 
tion in such a position, that it required all the 
little grocer's memory and experience to keep us 
from straying. By the road we took, the cavern 
seemed to penetrate the mountain to about the dis- 
tance of an English mile, sometimes in the form 
of large chambers, sometimes of narrow passages, 
through which one can scarcely creep. Some of 
these chambers are high, and ornamented with 
small stalactites. In one a large mass of rock cor- 
rugated like a huge wart, hangs from the roof to 
within a yard of the floor without touching it. 
The only difficulty we experienced, except that 
of finding our way, was in passing a wet bog 
if a mass of soft lime, of about the consistence of 
mortar can be so called which extended for some 
twenty yards' distance. 


At the very end of the cavern, we had been told 
there was a vein containing precious stones in great 
abundance, and it was therefore with no small dis- 
appointment we found nothing but a mud-lined 
chamber, from which there was no exit save by a 
small hole, which it seemed impossible for any of 
us to pass through ! However, the little grocer 
was not to be balked ; he declared the precious 
stones must be on the other side the hole, and he 
accordingly laid himself down, and by dint of work- 
ing away something like a worm when it is return- 
ing to the earth, he at last disappeared, and then 
assuring us that he had come to the precious stones, 
he made all of us so eager to share the prize, that 
we too squeezed ourselves through. Here we 
found an extraordinary formation enough. A slit 
in the rock, of about a yard in width, had been 
filled up by a quantity of very fine gravel, composed 
for the most part, of rounded stones of about the 
size of peas, generally highly polished, and often 
of considerable beauty. I really forget now all 
the various mineral species to which these pebbles 
have been found to belong, but I know there were 
upwards of a dozen of the secondary precious stones, 
among which were jaspers, cornelians, and agates. 
Geologically, I think, the age of this vein might 
probably be fixed pretty accurately. That its con- 
tents have been deposited by running water, their 
nature and appearance place beyond a doubt, and 
as they are now at least a hundred feet above 


the surface of the valley, it must have been be- 
fore the valley was formed, and when the water 
rolled over the upper surface of the mountain a 
considerable height above. The gravel is now 
so compact, that it required a hammer to separate 
any portions of it. We were glad to leave this 
part of the cavern as quickly as we could, for the 
air became so confined, that it was scarcely pos- 
sible to breathe. We had still only investigated 
one part of this cavern. Another of nearly equal 
extent lay above this, and was said to open on 
the other side of the mountain. The entrance, 
however, could only be reached by the aid of a 
ladder, and as our curiosity was pretty well satis- 
fied we returned without making any further in- 

The peasants had got us a good dinner ready by 
our return, and we were all well inclined to do 
justice to their cookery. A little before dark, we 
again mounted our rozinantes, and made the best of 
our way back to St. Pal. 

Our next point was Keszdi Vasarhely,* but 
though it lay nearly direct east of St. Pal, we were 
obliged to make a considerable detour to the south 
to avoid a chain of mountains which lay between 
the two places. My notes of this day contain little 
worthy of remark, save that we could get nothing 
for dinner except a few eggs; and that at night 

* Vdsdr, market ; hely, place ; a name common to many places 
in this part of Transylvania. 


we were obliged to sleep on tables and chairs, 
and content ourselves with a supper of six small 
trout, which the landlord went out and caught for 
the occasion. I am really ashamed to refer so 
constantly to the subject of the creature comforts ; 
but I believe it is best to do so, as it perhaps gives 
the reader almost as good an idea of the circum- 
stances of the country we were travelling through, 
as a more elaborate description would do. What, 
for instance, could strike the stranger more forcibly 
than an occurrence which took place the very next 
day ? Soon after we had started, we passed through 
a small village, at which we had no intention of 
stopping, where Miklos's eye fell on the carcass of 
a fresh-slaughtered calf, hung up in a peasant's 
house. Jumping down, he at once made off to 
this unaccustomed sight, and did not return till 
he had secured a good-looking lump of veal, as a 
provision against dinner-time. 

Before arriving at Foldvar, the place of the 
six fishes, we felt a change in the weather, which 
obliged us to have recourse to our furs. The 
cause of it was sufficiently explained in the morn- 
ing. Though we were only in the middle of Sep 
tember, a considerable fall of snow had taken place 
in the mountains, and their white peaks now glit- 
tering in the sun, contrasted strongly with the 
yellow corn-fields and green meadows in the fore- 
ground of the picture. 

At Sepsi St. Gyb'rgy, where we stopped before 



mid-day to get the above-mentioned lump of veal 
converted into an eatable form, we found, instead 
of the rude villages we had hitherto seen, a smart 
little town with handsome houses, and large public 
buildings, apparently very foreign to the position 
in which they existed. Sepsi St. Gyorgy, however, 
is the head-quarters of the Szekler border Hussars, 
and, consequently, the residence of the staff. One 
of the large buildings is dedicated to the educa- 
tion of the children of the Hussars, and is said 
to be one of the most flourishing schools in the 

Before evening, we got on to Keszdi Vasarhely ; 
and though we were told there was no inn, we 
found very good quarters in the house of a French 
brewer, who had married an Hungarian wife, and 
set up his tent here for life. He was a good- 
tempered little fellow; seemed delighted to re- 
ceive us into his house, and promised us a sup- 
per which should amply compensate for our late 
fastings. Of course he took us over his whole 
premises of which he was very proud, as indeed 
he had good reason to be, for his brewhouse, and 
all its apparatus, though on a small scale, were 
in excellent order. He complains sadly of his 
neighbours doing all they can to injure him, from 
jealousy of his foreign extraction ; and I can 
readily believe him, for it is a theory of all 
Hungarians, that every farthing gained in Hun- 
gary by a stranger, is robbed from her own children. 


The high price of hops is another of the poor 
Frenchman's grievances. He is obliged to get 
them all the way from Bohemia; and even then 
they are not too good. However, notwithstand- 
ing his grumbling, I suspect our little friend 
manages to prosper. 

We had still time to visit the military school 
for the education of the children of the Szekler 
infantry. The institution was founded by the 
late Emperor, and is supported partly by a royal 
grant, and partly by the Szeklers themselves. The 
regulation of it is entirely in the hands of Go- 
vernment. On the foundation, there are one 
hundred boys, from six to eighteen years of age, 
who are fed, clothed, and taught free of all ex- 
pense. As these do not occupy all the room 
which exists, a few additional scholars are ad- 
mitted on the payment of about sixteen shil- 
lings per month for the enjoyment of the same 
advantages as the others. The children, when 
they have finished their education, are drafted 
into the infantry, and often rise to the rank of 
officers. The course of education includes writ- 
ing, reading, arithmetic, geography, mathematics, 
military drawing, and the German language, be- 
sides all the drilling and exercising, which belong 
to military training. We saw specimens of their 
writing and drawing, and I must say they were 
very creditable. They have a small library, mostly 
composed of amusing books for children, which 



are lent out to the scholars, and they seem well 
selected for the purpose of giving them a taste 
for reading. 

It is unfortunate that here, too, in an institution 
apparently so good, cause for complaint and mistrust 
against Government should exist. The Szeklers say 
the whole object of the school is to denationalize 
their children, and make them forget their native 
tongue. In fact, all the lessons are given in Ger- 
man, all the books are German, and the children are 
even obliged to speak German to each other. The 
national language is never heard within the walls of 
the national school. It is certain the poor Szeklers 
think themselves very ill-treated by the Govern- 
ment. Though submitting now pretty quietly to 
the Border service, they object very strongly to 
some of the innovations it has brought with it. 
Many of the officers in the Border regiments are 
Germans, and of course can have no claim to the 
rights of Szekler nobility, yet Government has 
within these last few months claimed for them the 
right to appear and vote at the county-meetings; 
and very bitter is the feeling excited among the 
Szeklers in consequence. 

In the mountains somewhere in this neighbour- 
hood, we heard there was an extraordinary cave, 
of which we had been told some rather marvellous 
stories. We made all the inquiries we could at 
Keszdi Vasarhely, but nobody could inform us 
either of the exact distance, or of the best means 

TORJA. 341 

of getting there. All agreed, however, that we 
must pass through Torja, a village which we could 
perceive just at the foot of the mountains, some ten 
miles off, where, in all probability, we should find 
some one who could tell us more about the matter. 
On this chance we started ; but fortunately, before 

we reached the place, W recollected that Torja 

was the name of the residence of an old Szekler 
friend of his, and it occurred to him that this might 
be the Torja in question. The first peasant we met 
on entering the village confirmed his suspicions, and 

led us straight to the house. Baron A , who 

was at home, was delighted beyond expression to 
see our friend. Unfortunately for us, the Baron 
could not speak a word of German, and we could 
only communicate with him through W 's in- 
terpretation ; to say the truth, I doubt if he would 
have spoken it even if he could, in so great horror 
did he hold everything German. 

After the first greetings were over, and we had 
all been taken into the house and presented to 

his lady, W ventured to express our wish to 

get on as quickly as possible to the cave. I say 
ventured, for it was not till I had given him seve- 
ral hints, and even then rather against his will, 
that he did so, for he knew how high a notion 
the Szeklers have of the duty of hospitality, and 
he foresaw no little difficulty in our escaping 
without spending the whole day where we were. 
When once the Baron was made to understand 


that our engagements rendered it impossible for 
us to stay, disappointed as he was, he consented 
to get us a conveyance fit for the roads, and pro- 
mised to accompany us himself to the place. While 
the horses were getting ready, which I thought 
occupied rather more time than was absolutely 
necessary, I had time to look about me, and observe 
something of the establishment of a Szekler no- 
bleman. As usual, the house was only of one 
story ; and, except in its size, differing but little 
from those about it. The large unpaved court- 
yard, surrounded by stables and waggon -sheds, 
separated it from the road ; and, on the other side 
were a kitchen-garden and orchard. The interior 
of the house was modestly, perhaps sparingly, fur- 
nished, for Baron A , though boasting a pedi- 
gree scarcely to be equalled in the country, was 
less favoured than many others on the score of 
fortune ; but some old portraits gave an air of 
dignity to the rooms, and everything was comfort- 
able and well-ordered. 

Here, as in every other part of the Szekler-land 
we had occasion to notice the extraordinary affec- 
tion and almost veneration with which Baron Wes- 
sel&iyi Miklos was regarded. His portrait was seen 
in every house, his name was on every lip. The 
Szeklers look up to him as the great advocate 
of their rights, the defender of their liberties. So 
strong was the feeling of indignation and resent- 
ment when they knew of his prosecution, that I 


have heard it said, by those who had good oppor- 
tunity to know the real state of the case, that 
had he chosen to have thrown himself among the 
Szeklers, they would have risen to a man in his 
defence. How serious an affair the rising of forty 
or fifty thousand men accustomed to the use of 
arms might have been in so mountainous a coun- 
try as this, it was easy to foresee, but Baron 
Wessel^nyi was too true a patriot to throw his 
country into rebellion, and expose her to all the 
horrors of a civil war where his own interests 
would have been the chief cause of quarrel. It 
requires a very powerful cause to induce an honest 
patriot to call his countrymen to arms, but when 
once he has done so, it requires a full assurance 
for the future ere he consents that they shall be 
laid down. 

When the horses at last arrived, the reason 
of their long delay came out : the Baroness was 
determined we should not leave without dining, 
and though it was only nine when we got there, 
and was now scarcely eleven, she assured us that 
dinner was on the table, and that we should have 
still time to take something before the horses 
were fed and harnessed. At last we started, and 
following the course of a narrow valley, where 
we were frequently obliged to drive along the 
brook for want of a better road, we arrived in 
three hours at its far end where the road ceased 
altogether. As we walked up the hill, the Baron 


explained to us that we were about to visit some 
mineral springs, in the first instance, which occupy 
the summit of this hill, and then go on about 
a mile further to the Btidos, or stinking cave, of 
which we were in search. When we reached the 
summit we were surprised to find three or four 
log-huts tolerably well constructed, and a quantity 
of straw and half-burned wood lying about, as 
if they had been lately inhabited. In fact, they 
had been so, for in spite of the ignorance of the 
people of Vasarhely upon the subject, the Budos 
springs are a very fashionable bathing-place, at 
least among the peasants. They come here in 
summer, build a hut of branches, line it with 
straw, and stocking it plentifully with provisions, 
remain here for a month or six weeks at a time. 
Without waiting to look further at the springs, 
we hastened to the cave. 

In the face of a rock of magnesian limestone, 
there was an opening large enough to contain about 
a dozen persons, the floor of which slanted inwards 
and downwards from the mouth. A few years ago 
this cave was much larger, but a great portion of it 
was destroyed by an earthquake. About the sides 
of the lower part there was a thin yellow incrus- 
tation, which we found to be sulphur deposited 
from the gases which issue from crevices in the 
rock. As we got further into the cave we felt a 
sensation of tingling warmth, unlike anything I ever 
felt before, creeping as it were up the body, higher 


and higher in proportion as we descended lower. 
This extraordinary phenomenon is owing to the 
concentrated state of the carbonic acid gas (mixed 
with a very small proportion of sulphuretted hydro- 
gen), which issues from an air-spring in the lower 
part of the cave, and fills it to a level with the 
mouth, whence it flows out as regular as water 
would do. The temperature was not higher in one 
part of the cave than in another, for in moving 
the hand from the upper part to the lower not the 
slightest difference could be at first perceived ; but 
in a few seconds, as soon as the acid had power 
to penetrate the skin, the tingling warmth was felt. 
We descended till the gas reached the chin, when 
we could raise it in the hand to the lips and dis- 
tinctly perceive its sour taste. It is commonly 
supposed that the diluted carbonic acid gas pro- 
duces death by entering the lungs and excluding 
all other air, but here it was impossible to respire 
it ; the irritation produced on the glottis contracted 
it convulsively, and death would therefore occur 
almost immediately from strangulation. If any of 
it got into the eyes and nose, it made them smart 
severely. The peasants ascertain how far they can 
go with safety by striking their flints, and stopping 
when they no longer give sparks. 

We remained for some time in the cave enjoy- 
ing the sensation it produced exceedingly. As 
might be expected, so excellent an air-bath has not 
been neglected by the peasants of the neighbour- 


hood, and hundreds repair hither to profit by it every 
year. The common manner of using it is, to repair 
to the cave early in the morning, and remain for an 
hour or more, with the whole body subjected to the 
influence of the gas, till a profuse perspiration is 
produced, when they proceed to one of the cold 
baths we had observed as we came up. These 
baths are impregnated with the same gases as the 
air of the cavern, but contain apparently rather 
more sulphur. The cases for which the Biidos is 
most celebrated, are those of chronic rheumatism, 
and complicated mercurial affections. So great is 
the carelessness of the peasants, that rarely a year 
passes without some of them perishing in this cave. 
This season two such accidents had happened. The 
common name given to the cave is the " Murder- 
hole " (Gyilkoslyuk). 

As we returned, many mineral springs were 
pointed out to us, with which indeed the whole 
mountain seems to be covered. 

We had intended, after seeing the Biidos, to visit 
the ruins of a fine old castle, formerly the residence 

of Baron A 's ancestors, which crowned the 

summit of the mountain, and then go on to the 
Lake of St. Anna, about four hours further ; but it 
set in for so wet a night, that the length of the 
march and the certainty of being obliged to sleep 
on the damp ground cooled our ardour. The lake 
is said to be small, and occupies the summit of 
a hill. It is believed to be the crater of an old 


volcano. We now made the best of our way back, 

and bidding adieu to Baron A at Torja, we 

got to our snug quarters at the Frenchman's in 
time for supper. 

We bade adieu to the Szekler-land the next day, 

but not till we had passed through a part of it, the 

Harom-Sz6k, forming one of the most beautiful 

spots this earth can show. The whole district is 

a gently undulating plain, covered with the richest 

I crops, dotted over with flourishing villages, watered 

by the meandering Aluta, and bounded on two 

| sides by the most beautiful chains of mountains 

! it is possible to conceive. Time after time did we 

| stop the carriage and turn back to enjoy another 

i last look at this beautiful scene. And then what 

I treasures of unexplored scenery, what hosts of 

Nature's miracles, do those mountains contain ! We 

: had heard of caverns, cliffs, and ruins, of boiling 

springs, and streams of naphtha, and I know not 

; what else ; yet every one said that, except to the 

I shepherds, almost all these wonders are known only 

by name. 

We had remarked throughout the Szekler-land, 

I generally, a better state of cultivation and greater 

signs of industry than in most other parts of Tran- 

I sylvania, but this was nowhere so manifest as in 

the Harom-Szek. The implements were rude, the 

| system of cultivation exceedingly imperfect, but 

yet the general aspect of the country showed how 

much application and industry will do to supply 


the want of knowledge and capital. Property is 
more equally divided here than elsewhere, the 
people are consequently more industrious, and I 
believe, produce more than in other parts, where, 
although their forces may be better applied, large 
possessions induce idleness and indifference in the 
mass of the people. 





The Saxon Land. Settlement of the Saxons. Their Charter. 
Political and Municipal Privileges. Saxon Character. School 
Sickness. Kronstadt. A Hunting Party. Smuggling from 
Wallachia. The Bear and the General. Terzburg and the 
German Knights. Excursion to Bucses. The Kalibaschen. 
The Convent. The Valleys of Bucses. Virtue in Self-denial. 
The Alpine Horn. Fortified Churches and Infidel Invasions. 
Fogaras. Hermanstadt. Baron Bruchenthal. Rothen 
Thurm Pass. A Digression on Wallachia and Moldavia. 
Saxon Language. Beauty of Transylvania. 

THE narrow waters of the Aluta separate two as 
distinct races of men, two as opposite systems of 
government, and for many years two as bitter na- 
tional enemies as though mountains or oceans had 
for ages opposed a natural barrier of separation 
betwixt them. We crossed a simple wooden bridge 
thrown across a mere brook, and from the Szeklers 
we had passed to the land of the Saxons. Nor 
was the outward appearance of things less changed. 
Although it was the same plain we were traversing, 
and although the same green mountains bounded 
it, and the same brooks watered it, there was a 


manifest difference in the part which man had acted 
on its surface. 

I have already remarked that the Harom-Szek 
was better cultivated than the rest of the Szekler 
land, but the Burzenland land, as this part of the 
Saxon land is called, appeared like a garden in com- 
parison even with that. The whole plain seemed 
alive with ploughs and harrows in the Harom- 
Szk they had not yet begun to break up the 
ground, and on every side teams were moving 
about, manure was spreading, and the seed was 
scattered abroad, with a busy hand. It was more 
like a scene in the best part of Belgium, than what 
one would expect on the borders of Turkey. It was 
striking, too, after the eye had been so long accus- 
tomed to the Hungarian dresses of the Szeklers, in 
all their picturesque rudeness, to have before it 
nothing but the stiff old-fashioned costumes which 
one still sees among the most primitive inhabitants 
of Germany. How it has happened that the Saxons, 
who have been so far separated from the rest of 
the great German family, should have hit upon the 
self-same ugly costume for it certainly did not 
exist when they emigrated would be a puzzle 
for the most erudite of philosophising tailors, and 
is, I must confess, far beyond me. But the most 
startling feature in the picture was the very ac- 
tive part taken by the women in the operations 
so busily carried on before us. Some were sow- 
ing corn, others using the fork and spade, others 


again holding- the plough, and believe or not, as 
you will, reader there, too, was the stout Saxon 
Ham Frau seated, en cavalier, on the near wheeler, 
and driving four-in-hand, as composedly as possi- 
ble. Nor was decency put to the blush by the 
slightest exposure. The Saxon women have bor- 
rowed the long boots from their Hungarian neigh- 
bours, which, with their own thick woollen petti- 
coats covered their whole persons most effectually. 
The dress of these women is much the same as that 
which the broom girls have made familiar to our 
streets, a cloth petticoat with most ample folds, 
surmounted by a cloth stomacher buttoned or laced 
in front, and a small cap, fitting closely on the head ; 
or for the unmarried girls, a long braid of flaxen 
hair hanging down the back, with a straw hat of 
small crown and preposterously broad brim. Such 
stout maids as some of these hats shaded, and so 
unpoetically employed, I never saw; but I have no 
doubt their round, fat, good-tempered faces, and 
laughing blue eyes, have not the less charms for 
the Saxon youth because they are united to a 
strong and healthy body, and to habits of industry, 
albeit coarse in their kind. The Saxons are a 
canny folk, and if not very romantic and chival- 
rous, they are prudent and laborious. But before 
I discuss more of their character, let me say a 
word or two of their history. 

It was to the Servian Princess Helena, the wife 
of the Blind Bela, who ruled in Hungary about 


the middle of the twelfth century, during the mi- 
nority of her son Geysa the Second, that Transyl- 
vania owed the repeopling her wastes with indus- 
trious German colonists. Taking advantage of the 
peace which she had concluded with the Emperor 
of Germany, she invited the peasants of that coun- 
try to emigrate, and promised them lands and liber- 
ties within the boundaries of Hungary. 1143 is 
commonly assigned as the date of their first set- 
tlement some of them in the North of Hungary, 
and others in Transylvania. Under Andrew the 
Second, in 1224, two years after the Bulla Aurea, 
those of Transylvania obtained a charter of their 
liberties, of which the chief articles seem to have 
been as follows : 

" They might elect from their own body a chief, 
or Comes, who should be their judge in peace, and 
leader in war. 

" No change to be made in the coin within their 
boundaries, but they consented to pay for this privi- 
lege a yearly tax of five hundred marks of silver. 

" They agreed to furnish five hundred soldiers for 
a defensive war, and one hundred for an offensive, if 
the army was commanded by the king in person, 
but only fifty if commanded by an Hungarian mag- 

" The free election of their own clergy, and their 
undisturbed enjoyment of the tithe. 

" Right of pasture and wood-cutting in the forests 
of the Wallacks and Byssenians. 


" Freedom from more than twice entertaining the 
Woivode in the course of the year. 

" Removal of market-tolls from their district, 
and freedom of their trade-companies from all 

It was not likely that a foreign nation should be 
allowed to take up its dwelling among a people so 
wild and so jealous of foreigners as the Magyars, 
without having to fight hard for its possessions ; and 
frequent were the contests to which the German 
settlers were exposed. The king, however, was 
always ready to lend his aid to his faithful Saxons, 
and with his help, and by their own industry, they 
throve in spite of all opposition. When Transyl- 
vania was contending for an independent sovereignty, 
the Saxons joined the Hungarian nobles in oppo- 
sition to Austria, and a union of the Magyars, 
Szeklers, and Saxons was formed, by which each 
party was secured in its own rights and privileges, 
and to each was given a fair share in the common 
legislative assembly. They still, however, retained 
their own laws and municipal institutions. 

One of the fundamental laws of the Saxons is 
the equality of every individual of the Saxon nation. 
They have no nobles, no peasants. Not but that 
many of the Saxons have received letters of nobility, 
and deck themselves out in all its plumes ; yet, as 
every true Saxon will tell you, that is only as 
Hungarian nobles, not as Saxons. 

Their municipal government was entirely in their 



own hands ; every village chose its own officers, 
and managed its own affairs, without the inter- 
ference of any higher power. A few years ago, 
however, a great and completely arbitrary change 
was made in this institution, which, though it 
almost escaped notice at the time, has since excited 
the most bitter complaints. The whole of this 
transaction was managed without the consent either 
of the Diet or the Saxon nation. Its effects have 
been to deprive the Saxon communities of the free 
exercise of their privileges, and to deliver them 
into the power of a corrupt bureaucracy, over which 
they have little or no control. 

The Saxons, however, are a slow people, sus- 
picious of their neighbours, and caring more for 
material than political interests; and though they 
have long complained, they have scarcely ever 
ventured to demand a restitution of their rights. 
Hitherto, the Saxons have been among the most 
certain adherents of the Crown ; and, whether from 
a recollection of former wrongs, or irritated by an 
insolent bearing on the part of the Hungarians, 
or afraid of losing their own privileges by aiding 
the objects of others, they have rarely joined the 
Liberal party. In the last Diet, however, even the 
Saxons, prvdentes et circumspecti although they 
be entitled, could not altogether resist the tide 
of public opinion, and, egged on a little perhaps by 
their own wrongs, they too joined the opposition. 
Not that they altogether belied their title even 


then, for they are said to have done it so cautiously, 
that it was often difficult to know to which side they 
really leaned. When it was determined to send a 
deputation to the Emperor, to remonstrate against 
the proceedings of the Arch-Duke, two Saxon de- 
puties were included amongst the number of those 
selected. All manner of excuses were urged to 
enable them to escape from the perilous honour ; 
but the Hungarians mischievously enjoyed their 
difficulty, and would admit of no apology. When 
they arrived at Vienna, and the day came for the 
dreaded audience, the Saxon deputies were both 
taken suddenly ill, and protested they could not 
leave their beds, but they desired the rest of the 
deputation to proceed without them, declaring at 
the same time that they would wait on his Majesty 
alone when sufficiently recovered. As this lame 
apology for their absence was offered to the Em- 
peror, he burst into a hearty laugh, and exclaimed, 
" Ah ! ah ! a school sickness ! a school sickness ! 
My poor Saxons ! they don't like to bring me 
disagreeable news." 

For the rest, the Saxons are undoubtedly the 
most industrious, steady, and frugal of all the in- 
habitants of Transylvania, and they are consequently 
the best lodged, best clothed, and best instructed. 

Kronstadt was the object we were now making 
for, and we had almost entered it before we were 
aware of its proximity, so completely is it imbedded 
in the mountains, which bound this plain to the 



south. The first glimpse was sufficient to show us 
that we were approaching something different from 
what we had seen before. The outskirts of the 
town were occupied by pretty villas, surrounded 
by well-kept gardens, strongly indicative of com- 
merce, and the wealth and tastes it brings with 
it, and very different from the straggling houses 
and neglected court-yards of the poor Szekler 
nobles. Before the gates of the town is a large 
open esplanade, forming a promenade, ornamented 
with avenues of trees and a Turkish kiosk. The 
gates themselves are still standing, three deep, and 
looking as terrible as when Kronstadt was still a 
place of strength, and when its brave magistrate, 
Michael Weiss, held it with so much glory against 
the faithless Bathori Gabor, and all the forces 
which Transylvania could bring against it. 

If the reader will understand the situation of 
Kronstadt, let him imagine an opening in the long 
line of mountains which separate Transylvania 
from Wallachia in the form of a triangle, between 
the legs of which stands an isolated hill. Within 
this triangle, lies the town of Kronstadt, and on 
the top of the isolated hill there is a modern 
fortress of some strength. The mountains come 
so close down on the little valley, that the walls 
are in many places built part of the way up 
their sides. The town itself is regularly and 
well built, and its towers and walls and bristling 
spires, standing out against the mountain sides, 



themselves well 
covered with wood, 
and fretted with lime- 
stone peaks, form one 
of the most picturesque 
scenes the artist could desire. 

A rapid stream rushes in various channels 
through the streets ; and besides serving to keep 
the Saxons clean, makes itself useful to a host 
of dyers, fellmongers, tanners, and millers, with 
which this little Manchester abounds. Kronstadt 
and its neighbourhood are in fact the only parts 
of Transylvania in which any manufactured pro- 
duce is prepared for exportation, and here it is 
carried on to a considerable extent. The chief 
articles produced are woollen cloths, of a coarse 
description, such as are used for the dresses of 
the peasants, linen and cotton goods, stockings, 


skins, leather, wooden bottles of a peculiar form 
and very much esteemed, and light waggons on 
wooden springs. The principal part of its exports 
are to Wallachia and Moldavia. A considerable 
transit commerce between Vienna and the Prin- 
cipalities is likewise carried on through Kronstadt, 
which is chiefly in the hands of a privileged com- 
pany of Greek merchants. This trade is said to 
have fallen off of late years ; it is likely to be still 
further diminished as the Danube opens better 
channels of communication. 

The population of Kronstadt amounts to thirty- 
six thousand, by far the greatest of any town in 
Transylvania, and it is composed of as motley a 
crew as can well be imagined. The sober plod- 
ding Saxon is jostled by the light and cunning 
Greek ; the smooth-faced Armenian, the quaker of 
the East, in his fur cloak, and high kalpak, meets 
his match at a bargain in the humble-looking Jew ; 
and the dirty Boyar from Jassy, proud of his wealth 
and his nobility, meets his equal in pride in the 
peasant noble of the Szekler-land. Hungarian 
magnates and Turkish merchants, Wallack shep- 
herds and gipsy vagabonds make up the motley 
groups which give life and animation to the streets 
of Kronstadt. 

Our first visit was to the old church, a vener- 
able Gothic structure of elegant proportions. Al- 
though the church now belongs to the Lutherans, 
the national religion of the Saxons, its buttresses 


bear the somewhat time-eaten statues of Catholic 
saints, each in its separate niche. The door-ways, 
rounder than the Gothic arch of that age (1400) 
with us, are well carved in bold compartments, 
and rare good taste ; the doors themselves are richly 
worked in the same style. The interior is bold 
and pure, though rather simple. 

All the trades in Transylvania are under the rule 
of companies and corporations ; and I was much 
amused by their chartered pride as illustrated in 
this church. The women occupy rows of benches 
up the centre of the aisle ; but on the sides are 
arranged a number of seats in regular gradation for 
the men, divided off into different sets, each set 
being appropriated to a particular corporation. The 
heads of the corporation are seated in front of the 
rest, and their stalls are ornamented with rich Per- 
sian carpets, after the manner of the East. In a 
gallery above, the apprentices of these trades are 
placed in similar order; first, the tanners, then 
the shoe-makers, then the masons, and so on, with 
their arms and insignia painted in gay colours on 
the front. 

As we left the church, the Lutheran college 
was pointed out to us, and, in a few minutes 
after, we saw a number of students and professors 
issuing from its doors in the oddest costume aca- 
demic fancy ever contrived. The student is clothed 
in a long, straight-cut black coat, reaching below 
his knees, and fastened from the neck to the waist 


by a row of broad silver hooks, each two inches 
long, and so closely set together, that they look 
like a facing of solid silver. Above this is a black 
cloak fastened by a huge antique-looking silver 
chain ; below a pair of black knee-boots, and, to 
crown the whole, a monstrous cocked-hat. Except 
that their cloak was of silk instead of cloth, the 
professors wore nearly the same dress. Every one 
as he passed us raised his huge cocked-hat to salute 
the strangers, and it kept us for full five minutes 
bare-headed to return this shower of unexpected 
civilities. * 

Beyond the walls of the old town we were shown 
the great Wai lack church, the handsomest belong- 
ing to that body in the country, and, what is still 
more worthy of remark, rebuilt by an Empress of 
Russia in 1751. The interior is, as usual in Wai- 
lack churches, completely covered with paintings of 
saints and devils, the latter playing every sort of 
trick, to cheat the angel, and to overload the balance 
on the side of sin at the last judgment, which it 
was possible for the united imaginations of artist 
and priest to conceive. There is something very 
eastern in the Greek custom of excluding the 
women from the body of the church : here they 
were thrust into an outer part, where they could 
scarcely even hear the service. We observed 

* Besides this college, the Saxons have Gymnasia, in Hermann- 
stadt, Schlossburg, Muhlenbach, Mediasch, Bistritz, Groszschenk, 
and Birthalm. 


several small silver crosses richly ornamented with 
precious stones, and each pretending to enclose a 
portion of the true cross. 

Though the walls and gates of Kronstadt have 
been for the most part preserved, as indeed they 
well deserve, for many of the towers are exceed- 
ingly picturesque, the ditch has been wisely con- 
verted to the purposes of a public promenade, and 
a very beautiful one it makes. 

The proximity to Turkey, and the frequent inter- 
course of its inhabitants with this place, have given 
to Kronstadt something of Turkish habits and man- 
ners. The amber mouth-piece, the long chibouque, 
the odoriferous tobacco, the delicious dolchazza, and 
the various other sweetmeats of a Turkish confec- 
tioner's the coffee-house in the form of a kiosk, 
the bazaar, and many other peculiarities, remind 
the traveller of the customs of the East. 

As we were walking about after dinner, making 
some few purchases preparatory to leaving, and 
more especially of some of the excellent liqueurs 

for which Kronstadt is so celebrated, W 

found in one of the Kronstadters, an old college- 
companion, by whom he was heartily welcomed to 
the town. This was all very pleasant, but then 
came the difficulty of getting away. We had seen 
nothing at all, he told us ; and the country was full 
of wonderful sights which it was quite impossible 
we should leave without visiting. We remained 
firm notwithstanding, and returned back to our 


inn, and ordered the horses to be ready for the 
next morning. We were scarcely seated, however, 
before our Kronstadter broke in upon us with his 
friend Herr v. L , a gentleman of the neigh- 
bourhood, who would not hear of our leaving with- 
out a promise of paying him a visit in our way. 
Besides a fine country to show us, he had the best 
grounds for chamois and bear-hunting of any in 
Transylvania, and was himself a most enthusiastic 
sportsman. This was not to be resisted, and he 
accordingly bade us good night that he might 
hasten home and make preparations for the next 
morning, we agreeing to be with him at an early 

We were off by six, and on our way to Zer- 
nyest, full of hopes, in which chamois and bears 
held a conspicuous place. We passed a rich and 
flourishing village, Rosenau, where, on the hill 
above, were very extensive ruins of an old castle, 
formerly one of the strongest in the country. We 

found Herr v. L waiting for us with a whole 

train of Wallack* peasants, armed and ready for 
the sport. After a hearty breakfast, we mounted 
some small ponies and followed a clear crystal 
brook Herr v. L says, containing the finest- 
flavoured trout in the country along the foot 
of the mountain, till we came at last to the base 

* Zernyest is a fief of Kronstadt, and held by peasants (Wai- 
lacks), in the same manner as in the Hungarian counties. Our 
host had taken it on a lease. 


of the Konigsberg, one of the highest of this range 
on which the hunt was to take place. From this 
point the ascent began, but for another hour we 
could still ride ; so we threw the reins on the ponies' 
necks, and allowed them to scramble on among the 
rocks and stones as best they could. These animals 
seemed so well accustomed to the work, that I could 
not help thinking they had often been employed 
at it before, though, perhaps, with other burthens. 
On inquiring of our host he confirmed the opinion, 
and said they had probably been much further ; for 
this was one of the favourite roads of the smugglers, 
and some of our jagers were among the most 
notorious of that profession in the country. " You 
see that old man with the white head," he observed ; 
he frequently crosses into Wallachia and back 
again on such errands, and sometimes passes the 
Danube into Roumelia. On one occasion, he went 
even as far as Adrianople. The ordinary station, 
however, is Kimpolung, about one day's journey 
across the border: there the goods are delivered 
to their agent by some house in Bucharest, and are 
retained in safety till the smuggler arrives, shows 
the countersign agreed on, receives them, and 
transports them to the merchant in Kronstadt. 
The whole affair is arranged in a perfectly business- 
like manner, and a very few zwanzigers are con- 
sidered sufficient payment for the risk. Only a 
short time since, a gentleman of this neighbour- 
hood sent our old white-headed friend to bring 


him some cachmere shawls from Kimpolung. The 
old man threw his gun over his shoulder, filled 
his wallet with malaj (maize bread), and went out 
as if in pursuit of game only. As he was return- 
ing the officers caught sight of him; and as they 
knew his character, though they never were able to 
convict him, they seized and examined him. He 
was too sharp for them ; before they came up the 
shawls were hidden under some well-marked rock, 
and a brace of moor fowl was all his bag contained. 
Nevertheless, they felt so sure of his guilt, that they 
threw him into prison. Of course, I could not 
allow my peasant to be confined without a cause, 
and I accordingly demanded that he should be re- 
leased if no proof could be brought against him. 
He was set free, and the next day the gentleman 
received his shawls." 

And is there no danger of these men betraying 
their employers ? I asked. " None ; there is no 
example of it no flogging can get their secret from 
them. For the rest, the punishment is but slight, 
and with a good friend and our judges, a little pre- 
sent will generally settle the matter." 

" Do you mean," I asked, " that regular smug- 
gling can be carried on over these mountains in 
spite of the Borderers ?" 

" Either in spite of them, or with their con- 
sent ; there is no difficulty in either ; they are so 
wretchedly poor, that the smallest bribe will pur- 
chase them." 


"And can bulky articles be obtained in this 

" Oh, yes ! the staple commodity is salt, although 
articles of French, English, and Turkish manufac- 
ture are common too. If one horse won't carry 
them, two will, and it only requires a little more 

" So," I added, " if I wanted a Turkey carpet in 
Klausenburg, without paying sixty per cent, duty 
on it, I could have it?" 

"Ho, Juan!" said Herr v. L addressing the 

smuggler, " this gentleman wishes to know if you 
could get him a Turkey carpet safe over the bor- 
lers from Bucharest?" 

The old man looked up from under his bushy 
re-brows with a cunning smile, and for answer, 
jked quietly, " By what day does the Dumnie wish 

have it?" 

Herr v. L seemed quite proud of the skill 

and courage of his old Wallack peasant. " I could 
do nothing without him," he observed ; " he is 
the best huntsman, and best mountaineer in the 
whole country." There is a sort of natural sym- 
pathy between sportsmen and smugglers and 
poachers, indeed, the same qualities of mind 
and habits of body, tend to form the one as the 
other ; anc! I feel sure that all our best sportsmen 
would have been poachers or smugglers in other 

We now dismounted, and leaving our ponies to 


the care of a peasant, sent off the jagers to beat 
the side of the mountain, while we prepared to 
take up our position above. We had still two 
hours' climbing before us. Our path lay straight 
up the mountain in a cleft, formed either by the 
water, or some crack in the rocks, and enclosed 
on either side by huge cliffs, which towered so 
straight above our heads, that it made us dizzy to 
trace their sharp peaks as they succeeded each 
other. The path was not one of the smoothest, 
and it often brought us on our hands and knees 
before we arrived at our position. At last, the gun 
was fired by the treibers and jagers to warn us that 
their beat was begun, and we concealed ourselves, 
and waited with open ears and eyes and with ready 
gun the wished-for sound of hoofs on the hard rock. 
This beat lasted two long hours. 

I shall not plague you, reader, with all my re- 
flections on the pleasure of sitting on a cold stone 
directly in the way of a cutting wind, which rushed 
from the snow mountain just above us to the 
sunny plains below, we having been heated with 
two hours' previous climbing ; I shall only say, as 

Herr v. L did, " it requires a little seasoning 

before one can relish it." For the third time, we 
were doomed to a blank day; not a chamois was 
to be found. We were repaid, however, for our 
trouble, by the beautiful scenery which this moun- 
tain offers. It is bold and grand to the highest 
degree. From my hiding-place, I had a view over 



nearly the half of Transylvania. I saw three sepa- 
rate elevations of hill and vale, sinking below each 
other as they receded from the high lands. 

As the reader may believe, we were not very 
much tempted by an offer of our host's of a bear 
hunt the next day, especially as for that purpose it 
would have .been necessary to remain in the moun- 
tains for three days at least. Although our host 
assured us that bears were very plentiful, and that 
he generally killed seven or eight in the course 
of the year, we had heard too much of the extreme 
probability of a disappointment to try it. I know 
many Transylvanian gentlemen who never miss a 
ear without going out once or twice on a bear 
unt ; but, except our host, I know only one other 
ho has ever shot a bear, though I know many that 

Herr v. L told us an excellent story of a 

bear hunt, which took place in these very moun- 
tains, and in his own presence. General V , the 

Austrian commander of the forces in this district, 
had come to Kronstadt to inspect the troops, and 
had been invited by our friend, in compliment to 
his rank, to join him in a bear hunt. Now, the 

* I have not been able to satisfy myself if the wild goat really 
exists in these mountains. In Wallachia, I was assured that it 

did ; but Herr von L said he had never met either with the 

wild goat or stein-bock, or indeed with any game of that kind, 
except the chamois, in the course of his experience. The wild 
goat, however, is very commonly spoken of, and I have heard 
many say they have eaten it. It may exist more to the north. 


General, though more accustomed to drilling than 
hunting, accepted the invitation, and appeared in 
due time in a cocked hat and long grey great-coat, 
the uniform of an Austrian general. When they 
had taken up their places, the General, with half- 
a-dozen rifles arrayed before him, paid such devoted 
attention to a bottle of spirits he had brought with 
him, that he quite forgot the object of his coming. 
At last, however, a huge bear burst suddenly from 
the cover of the pine forest directly in front of 
him. At that moment, the bottle was raised so 
high, that it quite obscured the General's vision, 
and he did not perceive the intruder till he was 
close upon him; down went the bottle, up jumped 
the astonished soldier, and, forgetful of his guns, off 
he started, with the bear clutching at the tails of 
his great-coat as he ran away. What strange con- 
fusion of ideas was muddling the General's intel- 
lect at the moment, it is difficult to say; but I 
suspect he had some notion that the attack was 
an act of insubordination on the part of bruin, for 
he called out most lustily, as he ran along, " Back ! 
rascal, back ! I am a general !" Luckily a poor 
Wallack peasant had more respect for the epau- 
lettes than the bear, and throwing himself in the 
way, with nothing but a spear for his defence, he 
kept the enemy at bay, till our friend and the 
jagers came up and finished the contest with their 

Although we declined the bear-hunt, we could 


not resist the offer of Herr v. L to accompany 

us in an excursion just across the borders to a 
Wallachian hermitage, which he described as ro- 
mantic, wild, and picturesque in the highest degree. 
It was too far for one day's journey from Zernyest, 
so we left immediately after dinner for Terzburg, 
a small village on the very borders of Transylvania, 
by which our route would lead us. As the parents 
of our host's lady, an Armenian, lived there, he 
took us at once to their house and found us accom- 

Before W could be persuaded to leave his 

bed next morning, I had accompanied our friend to 
visit the old castle of Terzburg, which is still in- 
habited and in good preservation. It occupies the 
point of an isolated rock, of no great height, indeed, 
but very steep on every side. It is in a singular 
style, half Byzantine, half Gothic. Its importance 
in former times was so great, that the Kronstadters 
received valuable privileges for having built it. At 
this point begins one of the few practicable passes 
between Wallachia and Transylvania, and the com- 
mand of it must often therefore have decided the 
result of an incursion. Even in the very earliest 
times, Terzburg seems to have been a chosen point 
of defence, and it is said to take its German name 
of Diedrichstein from Theodoric, the chief of the 
order of German knights, to whom the whole of 
this district was given by King Andreas, on condi- 
tion of their defending the frontiers. The many 

VOL. n. B B 


castles, often in ruins, with which the Burzen-land 
as this portion of the Saxon-land is called, from the 
little river Burze, which flows through it abounds, 
are generally referable to this period; but that of 
Terzburg, at least as it now stands, has a later 

We gained' the interior of the castle by a small 
portal, nearly half way up the tower. A fixed 
wooden stair now leads to this opening, though it 
was formerly to be reached only by a ladder, which 
was always drawn up at night. The ancient door, 
cased in iron, still exists. It is constructed like a 
drawbridge, and lets down by iron chains, so as to 
form a landing-place before the entrance. A little 
court-yard occupies the centre of the building, and, 
as usual, it is surrounded by open galleries, commu- 
nicating with the different apartments. Everything 
remains in its pristine state, though some of the 
parts are no longer applied to their original pur- 
poses. One strong bastion has been made into a 
hen-roost, a respectable-looking tower is treated 
even less respectfully, port-holes serve to trundle 
mops in, and dishcloths hang where spears were 
wont to rest. The rooms are small and almost 
without ornament. On the whole, I was much 
pleased with Terzburg ; for although there is little 
to describe, there are few old castles which give 
one a better idea of the times when they were 
erected, or of the manner of life for which they 
were adapted, than Terzburg. 


W was up on our return ; and after taking 

coffee with this homely Armenian family, we 
mounted our ponies, and set off for Bucses. Just 
on the other side of the castle we found the quaran- 
tine establishment for travellers coming from Tur- 
key ; for though the confines of Transylvania really 
extend foul* hours beyond this point, yet that part 
is considered in sporco, and its inhabitants are not 
allowed to pass without undergoing quarantine. 
The inhabitants of this district, extra terminos, are 
a strange wild set of creatures, originally settlers 
from Wallachia, and as near as possible to a state of 
barbarism. They are called Kalibaschen from the 
Kaliban, or huts in which they live, and are subject 
to the jurisdiction of the commander of the castle 
of Terzburg. They live chiefly by the pasturage of 
cattle, for which these mountains and valleys offer 
a tolerable supply ; and, although we were told they 
had been much improved of late years, and had 
even been collected into villages, yet in appearance 
they are little less wild than the bears and wolves, 
their only neighbours. 

We took an officer of the quarantine with us 
to protect us from detention on our return ; and 
pushing on for a short distance along the regular 
road which conducts from Kronstadt to Kimpo- 
lung over the pass of Terzburg, we soon devi- 
ated to the east, and, following the course of a 
shallow brook, made its stony bed our road for the 
first hour. We were next obliged to ascend the 

B B 2 


mountain by a zig-zag path, worked out by the feet 
of the sheep and cattle which browse along its sides. 
About two-thirds up we found a narrow pathway, 
which conducted us along the steep sides of the 
mountain, and which was eventually to be our road 
across the frontier. For three hours did we tra- 
verse these rocks of course, only at a foot pace, 
for the road was rarely more than two feet wide, 
and often less sometimes proceeding through deep 
hanging woods, sometimes along the edges of bare 
precipices, which it made one dizzy to look down. 
Our ponies were weak ; and though accustomed to 
the mountains, by no means equal to the difficulties 
of such a road as this. The heat, however, was so 
oppressive, and rendered us so indisposed for exer- 
tion, that we preferred the dangers of riding to the 
trouble of a safer means of advancing. I had nearly 
paid dearly for my laziness. As my horse was pick- 
ing his way over a very difficult place where a gap 
occurred in the rocks, and where he had nothing 
but their smooth surfaces to fix his feet on, he 
slipped and fell. Luckily I was cool enough to 
give him his head, and remain perfectly still : the 
poor beast, too, kept his balance, and, aware of 
his danger, instead of all the rush and bustle 
which a horse commonly makes in recovering him- 
self, he quietly pushed himself up with his nose, 
raised one leg, felt about till he was sure of a 
safe footing, and then slowly moved the other. 
Had either of us swerved but the merest trifle to 


one side, our lives must have paid for it. As a mass 
of stone loosened by our fall was rolled over the 
edge of the precipice, and bounded from rock to 
rock till it was lost in the mass of black pines 
which filled up the bottom of the ravine, I could 
not help feeling a little uncomfortable at the pro- 
spect I had just had of making a similar excursion. 
Nevertheless I continued to ride on ; for, as I said 
before, the heat was oppressive, and the chance of a 
broken neck was at the moment less disagreeable 
than the trouble of exertion. 

We passed a fine flock of sheep, consisting of 
several hundreds of the long-woolled, curly-horned 
sheep of Transylvania, which were on their road 
to pasture in Wallachia for the winter. These 
sheep were the property of a rich peasant. It is no 
uncommon thing here, to send sheep or cattle not 
only into Wallachia, but even across the Danube 
into Turkey for winter grazing; so great a difference 
is there in the severity of the climate on the north 
and south sides of this part of the Carpathians. 

As we gained the frontier, which is on the very 
summit of this mountain ridge, and which is marked 
by a modest wooden cross, we had an extensive 
view over the Burzen-land, and even over some part 
of the Szekler-land. The Wallachian sentry, who 
had left his solitary post to fetch water from a neigh- 
bouring spring, and a very odd spring that is, too, 
hastened back as he observed our approach, not, 
as we feared, to oppose our passage, but to pay us 


the compliment of a military salute, and beg some- 
thing for his trouble. A pair of tight woollen trou- 
sers, a shirt, and sheep-skin cap, formed his uni- 
form, a cross-belt, and a well-cleaned musket, his 
accoutrements. His guard-room was a sorry shed 
formed of branches of trees and a few logs ; his 
rations a little Indian corn. The guard ought to 
consist of six men ; but his comrades, he said, were 
gone out hunting. A chamois or a roebuck must 
form an acceptable addition to their meagre fare. 
These men belong to the Wallachian frontier guard, 
and are intended to protect the country from border 
robbers, and to prevent smuggling ; though, indeed, 
where the duty is only five per cent, as in Walla- 
chia, that is little to be feared. How far their 
organization extends, or what similarity they may 
present to those on the other side, I was not able to 

The greater part of the pine forests which once 
covered the mountain we were now descending, on 
the Wallachian territory, presented an extraordi- 
nary spectacle. During a tremendous storm which 
occurred some twenty years ago among these moun- 
tains, the whole forest had been swept down by a 
gust of wind not singly, but in one mass and there 
lie still the prostrate trunks, bared of their bark and 
whitened in the sun, covering the whole mountain 
side with their ruins, and looking as if they were 
cut down, stripped, and laid out ready for removal. 
Whether they had been broken off, or uprooted, we 


were too far off to distinguish ; probably the latter, 
as the soil was thin, and the pine is more apt to 
spread its roots than strike them deeply into the 
soil. It is not impossible that some of those half- 
fossilized forests buried in our bogs, as well as the 
bogs themselves, have been thus formed. It is no 
argument to the contrary, that we never experience 
storms capable of producing such effects at the 
present day ; for in a country cultivated as ours is, 
its forests opened, its morasses drained, and its 
whole climate consequently modified, we have no 
idea of what the winds are capable of in the wild 
mountains and trackless plains of such a district as 
this : in England civilization has tamed the very 
elements ! 

An hour's descent on the Wallachian side brought 
us to the bottom of the first valley, where a clear 
rivulet, the course of which we followed, led us on 
to a second, which was terminated by a narrow cleft 
of the rocks, something like what we have already 
seen in the Thordai Hasadek, and the cavern of 
Almas. Here, almost for the first time since we 
had left Terzburg, did we meet with a sign of man's 
domination. At the entrance to the cleft, a fence 
of firs and a little gate, showed that there was 
something within considered worth protection ; and 
a small cross, placed at the risk of life on the very 
highest pinnacle of the rock, looked as though 
gratitude to the Dispenser of that something, had 
been there to hallow the possession. We passed the 



gate, and mounting a steep and narrow foot-path, 
soon came in sight of the cavern and hermitage 
of Bucses. 

And is it possible that any human beings can 
have selected so wild and solitary a spot as this, 
for their residence ? was the inquiry of all when 
we first caught a glimpse of the gaping cave, and of 
the small line of white buildings, which encloses it 
from without. Our guide soon furnished an answer 
to the question ; for he knocked so loudly at the 
little door, that an old monk speedily answered the 
summons; and, learning the object of our visit, 
welcomed us in Wallachian, and invited us to 


enter the callugcrie or hermitage. In the inte- 
rior, under the arched vault of the cavern, we 
found a small Greek chapel, and two other low 
buildings of wood, containing cells for seven or 
eight hermits. 

At the present time there were only three of 
them at home two old men, whose grey beards 
we took as testimonies to their virtue, and one 
neophyte, a half-cunning, half-foolish-looking lad 
of sixteen. One of them was busily employed 
in superintending the boiling of a pot, which 
hung from three sticks, over a wood fire in the 
open air, and formed their only kitchen, while 
another was cutting mushrooms and some other 
species of fungus* into slices, and hanging them 
up to dry. I at first imagined all this prepa- 
ration was for making Schwamm for tinder; but 
no, it was a winter stock of provisions they were 
laying up. Our friend assured us that, except 
this dried fungus and Indian corn, and a little 
goat's milk, these men probably tasted nothing but 
water the whole winter through, and they were 
happy when they had a sufficiency of these. In 
summer, the shepherds sometimes bring them fresh 
food, and they themselves collect fruits and roots 
among the mountains near ; but their chief support 

* On the Continent several species of fungus are used in 
cookery, beside the mushroom, which, if not so delicate, are still 
well worth attention. One of these reaches the size of an 
ordinary plate, and cannot weigh less than a pound. 


is derived from the proceeds of their begging, in 
the form of maize, with which the wanderers re- 
turn in autumn. All they could offer us to aid 
our own supplies, was some of this fungus toasted, 
with a little grease and salt. The fungus was 
decidedly good, as far as it went, though I believe 
we could have eaten up the whole store, without 
feeling satisfied. 

The cave of Bucses, though high and fine, is not 
extensive ; at least, it is not possible to penetrate 
more than a hundred yards from its entrance, 
however much farther it may really go. The monks 
pointed out to us the opening in the direction 
in which the rest of the cavern extends, and by 
which a small brook makes its way out to the 
day; but they have blocked it up so high, to ren- 
der their cave warmer, that it is no longer possible 
to reach it. 

After looking at everything within the hermit- 
age the simple church, the yet simpler dwell- 
ings, and the most simple dwellers therein and 
after partaking of their rude fare, we left guides 
and horses to their rest, and wandered out into 
the valley to admire the extraordinary and savage 
beauty of the scene. Immediately about the 
cavern the rocks assumed the form of bold cliffs; 
on the opposite side, a high pinnacle of rock raised 
its cross-crowned head to the skies, and further on 
the black pine covered the mountain sides, and 
rendered the valley dark and sombre. The stream 



which separates 
the two sides of 
the mountain 
forms a succes- 
sion of such 
beautiful little 
water-falls, with 
their glassy clear 
green basins a- 
bove, and white 
foaming spray 
below, that I 
could have spent 
hours in watch- 
ing them. Re- 
clining on a soft 
mossy bank by the side 
of one of these falls, I 
had delayed as long as 
possible, under the plea 
of getting a sketch of 
this scene, when a noise 
of quarrelling at the 

opening of the valley, called me away to see what 
could possibly have disturbed the repose of a spot, 
which I had supposed the residence of silence and 
contentment. Before I could get up, a change 
had come over the spirit of the scene ; the sounds of 
quarrelling had ceased, and those of boisterous mer- 
riment had taken their place, and the first view I 


got of the picture showed the whole of our party in 
a full chorus of laughter, with the three hermits 
standing aside, and though silent, exchanging most 
angry looks with one another. W soon ex- 
plained the mystery. It is the custom for visitors to 
give some trifling sum to the monks in return for 
such matters as they can furnish them with, which is 
joyfully accepted by them, and put into the common 

purse. As we had no small silver, W had given 

them a ducat, and to render the present less osten- 
tatious, had slipped it among the salt. One of the 
elder hermits had received the salt, and bowed an 
acknowledgment for the gift ; the surprise of W- 
therefore, was very great on arriving at the bottom 
of the valley, to find the two others following with 
melancholy faces, and soon after to hear their com- 
plaints, that we had given them nothing. " What, 
do you consider the gold piece I gave your com- 
panion as nothing ?" asked W , angrily. " Gold ! 

companion!" burst from the astonished hermits, 
and in a few seconds they had flown to the cavern, 
dragged out the offending monk, and were hauling 
him by the collar to be corrected by W , buffet- 
ing and abusing him handsomely by the way, when 
I first heard them. The change to a laugh may 
easily be understood : the old rogue was obliged 
to disgorge his treasure, and we were left to reflect 
on the moral ; the which, probably, every one 
turned to support his own pet theory of morals 
in general. Musing on such matters we silently 


retraced our steps through the wild valley, repassed 
the sentinel, and were again on the narrow moun- 
tain road leading to Terzburg. 

The sun was just setting as we crossed the fron- 
tier, and we had still a long ride before us, with 
the prospect of passing a considerable part of it in 
the dark. Notwithstanding all the haste we could 
make, darkness overtook us; but instead of in- 
creased danger, as we had feared, increased safety 
came with it, for the horses had become so cau- 
tious, that they scarcely made a false step the whole 
of our ride back. 

As we approached the rude villages of the Kali- 
baschen, the notes of a very simple mountain air 
were borne on the winds, and fell so soft and sweet 
on the ear, that we could scarcely believe ourselves 
in such a savage neighbourhood. " Ah !" said Herr 

von L , as he caught the sounds, " the young 

Kalibaschen lovers are not inclined to lose this fine 
evening: the music you hear,js from their Alpine 
horns, and is an invitation to their sweethearts to 
come out to some well-known rendezvous to meet 
them. The Alpine horn is the Kalisbaschen's sub- 
stitute for billets-doux and waiting maids." We 
little thought, as we passed these savages in the 
morning, that they had been capable of so much 
poetry ; but what cannot love make poetical ? Our 
friend said the horns were the same as those used 
by the Swiss peasants ; and he described them as 
long wooden pipes made by the people themselves, 


and producing very harsh sounds if heard near. It 
was late when we arrived at Terzburg; but the 
carriages were waiting for us, and, after thanking 

Herr von L for his attention and politeness, we 

pushed on, and were soon deposited at our inn in 

Our route to Hermanstadt led us along the foot 
of the Carpathians nearly the whole distance. In 
many parts, the aspect of the country is curious, 
for the secondary ridges and valleys, running at 
right angles from the centre chain, are most nu- 
merous, and present, on a gigantic scale, the idea 
of ridge and furrow, rather than of a succession of 

We passed several trains of waggons on the road, 
heavily laden with articles of luxury from Vienna, 
going to Kronstadt and the neighbourhood. Colo- 
nial produce seemed to form the bulk of their 
contents. Most of the waggons were drawn by 
twelve horses each. We were much struck with 
the number of fortified churches we observed in 
this country. Almost every village churchyard is 
surrounded by a strong wall, with battlements and 
port-holes, and they are often strengthened by 
towers and other means of defence. The history of 
Transylvania gives but too clear an explanation of 
the causes of these precautions, and their frequent 
occurrence brought the picture of former times 
very forcibly before us. It requires little imagi- 
nation to conceive the wild Moslem hordes pouring 


down the passes of the Carpathians perhaps sent 
to enforce the tribute which some bold, but luck- 
less prince had ventured to refuse, or perhaps urged 
by the love of plunder only sweeping over the 
smiling plains of the Harom-Szk and Burzenland 
and driving away in one mingled crowd the simple 
inhabitants and their flocks and herds. It is easy 
to imagine them, as these incursions become more 
frequent, raising round the village church the village 
fortress the watchman taking his stand on the little 
tower, and every peasant listening as he drives his 
plough for the sound of the alarm-bell. The first 
glimpse of the turban on the mountain-top is suffi- 
cient. The warning has gone out and now the 
crowd of frighted women and children, the pant- 
ing cattle, and the anxious, but firm peasants, 
headed probably by their humble pastor for the 
Saxons boasted no lordly chivalry all bend their 
hurried steps towards the consecrated fortress. The 
forces of the enemy are composed of cavalry, and, 
resistless as they are in the open field, they find the 
Saxon peasantry a formidable enemy behind their 
churchyard wall, for they are ready to die to save 
their wives and daughters from the feared and 
hated infidel. Exposed on one side to the Tartar, 
and on the other to the Turk, this beautiful but un- 
happy country was subject to every misery which the 
warfare of savages can inflict how frightful a list ! 
Many a romance of real life must these villages 
have witnessed ! To this day the Transylvanian 


mother stills her restless child with threats of the 
Tartars coming " Ihon jonnek a Tatarok !"* 

We got no further than Fogaras that evening, 
and it was with the greatest difficulty that we could 
procure any accommodation there. I think the 
inns are worse in this part of Transylvania than 
anywhere else, notwithstanding the much greater 
prosperity of the country in general. Perhaps I 
remarked this deficiency the more, because I stood 
the more in need of their accommodation ; for, in 
crossing a small river in the dark, the driver had 
managed to overturn my carriage, and I had got 
a sound ducking in consequence. Although inha- 
bited by Saxons, and surrounded by the Saxon- 
land, Fogaras belongs to the Hungarian counties. 
On this subject the Saxons are very sore, and they 
say, and with much appearance of reason, that in 
depriving them of this district, Government has 
violated the conditions of several grants and char- 
ters in their favour. 

We reached Hermanstadt early enough to walk 
round its pretty promenades, and admire the 
almost Dutch neatness with which everything is 
kept. The town itself the capital of the Saxon- 
land though tolerably well built, and possessing 
a handsome square, has a dull and stagnant appear- 

* It is said to have been an amusement of the Tartars, to set 
the Hungarian children before their own little ones, that they 
might exercise themselves in cutting off heads an important 
practical branch of Tartar education. 


ance. Hermanstadt is the head-quarters of the 
commander-in-chief of the troops in Transylvania, 
and of course of the staff. Several departments 
of the Government, as the Customs, Post-super- 
intendence, &c., are located here, but notwith- 
standing these helps, Hermanstadt is not what it 
was. The overland trade through Wallachia has 
almost disappeared, and with it the best days of 

The first objects we visited on the morning after 
our arrival were the museum and gallery of Baron 
Bruckenthal. It has always been one of the pecu- 
liar privileges of greatness to choose great instru- 
ments for effecting its purposes, and in none was 
this more remarkable than in Maria Theresa. This 
prudent queen, setting aside all the prejudice which 
exists in Transylvania against the Saxons, raised for 
the first time in the history of that country, a Saxon 
Baron Bruckenthal to the supreme adminis- 
tration. Hermanstadt became the seat of Govern- 
ment. Bruckenthal built a splendid palace ; formed 
a large collection of pictures, and a very valuable 
library of thirteen thousand volumes, and at his 
death bequeathed the use of them to the public. 
We found the pictures scarcely deserving the high 
character we had heard of them, but they are quite 
as good as those found in many second-rate Ger- 
man and French towns, and they are well worth 
attention, as they form the only collection in the 
country. The library is in excellent order, and 

VOL. n. c c 


most freely open to all comers. In the museum we 
were most struck with the specimens of washed 
gold ; indeed, it is probably in this particular the 
most complete existing, and contains in itself an 
explanation of the whole subject of gold washing. 
I should recommend all lovers of fine scenery 
who may visit Hermanstadt, to extend their ram- 
bles as far as the Rothen Thurm Pass, one of the 
most romantic of the valleys which connect Tran- 
sylvania and Wallachia. Not that I did visit it on 
the present occasion, for I had seen it before, and 
the recollection of ten days' dangerous illness spent 
in the quarantine there, was hardly an inducement 
to make me return. The valley, however, is most 
beautiful, the rocks are bold and precipitous, the 
woods rich, and hanging over the sides of the moun- 
tains, and occasionally the most beautiful green 
glades intervene, that either poet or painter could 
desire. It is by this beautiful valley that the Aluta 
makes its escape to the Danube, and it forms one of 
the most curious instances I know, of a river passing 
completely through the centre of a vast mountain 
chain. At present, the Aluta is of little value ; for, 
in spite of the orders for removal of mills, by the 
Prince of Wallachia, its course is entirely obstruct- 
ed by them. Whether this river could ever be made 
navigable as far as Transylvania I much question, 
its bed is for miles and miles nothing but a suc- 
cession of rocks, but in Wallachia itself, it will 
become of the greatest importance. 


I scarcely know whether I ought to make a 
digression here, and tell my readers something of 
Wallachia and Moldavia, or pass on without further 
notice of them ; I trust, however, I may be allowed 
to intrude a short notice of these Principalities ; for, 
though I know the subject may be called foreign 
to the title of my book, yet the fate of these two 
countries has been so intimately associated with 
that of Hungary, and for the future, must, I believe, 
be still more so, that a few words on the matter 
may not be thrown away. 

Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bessarabia, lying be- 
tween ancient Poland, Hungary, the Danube, and 
the Black Sea, have in turns, for many centuries 
past, acknowledged the supremacy of one or other 
of the great powers on which they border. Hun- 
gary, I believe, still claims a right to the suzerainty, 
though Austria yielded up her claim about a cen- 
tury ago to Turkey. Of late years, these provinces 
have been governed by princes nominated by the 
Porte from among the worthless intriguing Greeks 
of the Fanar. By the treaty of Ackermann, how- 
ever, Bessarabia was given up to Russia, and with 
it the command of the mouths of the Danube ; and 
still more recently, Russia has extended her pro- 
tection under the plea of similarity of religion to 
the other two provinces, and obtained a declaration 
of their independence from the Porte, in which 
however, Russia and Turkey are named as protecting 
powers. By this act, they are allowed to elect their 

c c 2 


own princes, vote and levy their own taxes, and in 
fact govern themselves entirely according to their 
own fancies, provided always, that nothing is done 
contrary to the interests of the protecting powers. 
From the moment this act was signed, Russia has 
never ceased her endeavours to extend her own 
influence, and destroy that of Turkey in these pro- 
vinces ; they now seem at every moment in danger 
of falling completely into her hands. Gratitude for 
assistance given to enable them to escape the 
Moslem yoke, at first rendered the extension of this 
influence an easy task, but as the Wallachians and 
Moldavians began to feel a new burthen galling their 
shoulders, and saw that every day bound it only the 
more tightly to them, they hesitated, remonstrated, 
and finally positively refused to support it longer. 
A constant series of acts of oppression and injustice 
had rendered the morality of the Boyars, as the 
nobles of these countries are called, both private 
and political, a subject of mockery even for Rus- 
sians ; but the insolence of Baron Ruckmann, 
the Russian Consul-general, has found the means 
of awakening them to a sense of their duty, and 
they have at last staunchly refused to sanction 
acts which they declare contrary to their rights 
and liberties. Of course, all resistance, except that 
of moral power, is impossible. Turkey can offer 
no assistance, and, as they say, " England and France 
are a long way off." 

The population of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bes- 


sarabia is almost exclusively of Dacian origin ; that 
of the two former provinces amounts to nearly 
1,500,000, that of the latter probably is not more 
than 20,000. I have travelled over a considerable 
part of Wallachia and Moldavia, and I never saw 
two countries, of their extent, so rich in productions, 
so fruitful in resources. The land is of the very 
richest quality; the greater part of it an alluvial 
plain, like the Banat of Hungary, with a climate 
the most favourable for production. Yet with all 
these advantages, I never saw a country so thinly 
populated, nor a population so excessively poor and 
miserable. I had pitied the Wallacks of Transyl- 
vania till I saw their brethren of the Principalities, 
and found that there were those who might envy 
them their lot. Years of monopoly, oppression, 
and insecurity have worked out these consequences. 
With respect to Bessarabia I cannot speak from 
personal observation, except of that part which 
borders the Sulina branch of the Danube, and it 
is little better than a vast morass. The greater 
part of the country is, I believe, of much the same 
nature, and it could be valuable to Russia therefore 
only in as far as it gave her a command of the 
mouths of the Danube, and tended to make the 
Black Sea a Russian Lake. 

My readers will probably see now why Wallachia, 
Moldavia, and Bessarabia concern Hungary. One 
of them is already in the hands of Russia, and 
commands the only exit for the productions of 


Hungary ; the other two are ready to fall into 
the hands of Russia whenever she chooses to seize 
them, and they form the frontiers of Hungary on 
the east. 

While I am writing this, the news of a great 
treaty concluded between England and Austria * 
has just reached me ; and I find by one of the 
articles that vessels coming from the ports of Wal- 
lachia and Moldavia, are to be received on the 
same terms as if coming from Austrian ports. 

At last, then, Austria has roused herself and 
engaged England fairly in the cause. The meaning 
of that article is simply this : " Russia shall not 
extend her possessions on the Danube further than 
she has done already." The necessity for the pro- 
vision is absolute. Hungary possesses no port on 
the Danube, that is, no vessel from the Black Sea 
can possibly come up to any Hungarian town on 
the Danube and discharge her cargo ; if, therefore^ 
Hungary is desirous to establish an outlet for her 
productions by means of the Danube, it can only be 

* Of course I allude to the commercial treaty, negotiated with 
so much talent by Mr. Macgregor. It is with great regret and 
astonishment I have seen a question raised in the House of Com- 
mons about the meaning of the article referring to Wallachia, and 
still further confusing the question by mixing it up with the new 
Turkish treaty. It has been asked, if Turkey will consent to, or 
if Turkey can, extend her new customs to the Principalities. 
Turkey has nothing whatever to do with the Principalities in such 
matters, they are entirely free to make any regulations or treaties 
of commerce they please with any foreign power. 


done by keeping the ports below the Iron Gates 
open to her merchants. This has been threatened, 
first by the duties Russia attempted to impose on 
vessels entering the Danube, and, on the failure of 
that, by the gradual filling up of the Sulina mouth, 
by neglecting the cleansing which was always 
carried on by the Turks, and latterly, it is said, 
by the sinking, as if by accident, of some flat- 
bottomed boats. This scheme was again threatened 
with counteraction by the formation of a canal or 
railroad from the Danube to the Black Sea, and 
it was therefore but reasonable to suppose that 
Russia would exert her influence with the Princes 
to throw still further impediments in the way, 
much as it would have been to their injury. There 
were only two ways of opposing this, either by en- 
gaging England in the maintenance of the security 
of these provinces, or in at once seizing on them 
herself. The first has been adopted for the pre- 
sent; let us inquire if the second may not be- 
come necessary hereafter. The interests of Europe, 
of humanity, require that the ambition of Russia 
should receive a check: I will not waste one line 
in arguing a proposition which is not questioned 
by a single man of sense and feeling in Europe. 
She is preparing the way for future conquest in 
the south of Europe, and to these conquests Wal- 
lachia and Moldavia are the high road. These 
countries have no force which would enable them 
to resist her invading army a single day, nor is 


it possible that for centuries they can have : they 
have neither the physical means which a mountain- 
ous and wooded country afford, nor have they 
those moral aids proud historical recollections, 
legends of liberty, or the character which long 
habits of independence give and which have en- 
abled small knots of men to retain their place 
as nations when threatened by the most power- 
ful with extinction. For their armies they have 
a few hundred men each "not for fighting," as 
one of their own officials told me ; " that others do 
for us," but for keeping up a system of quarantine 
which, as far as possible, destroys their trade and 
cuts them off from all communication with the 
Turks. Independent, therefore, these provinces can- 
not be: the question then is, to whom shall they 
belong. Turkey is not only unable to hold them, 
from the ancient hatred they bear to the enemies 
of their faith, but the extension of her frontiers 
beyond the Danube rather tends to weaken than 
strengthen her. No one who is anxious to save 
Europe from the flood of barbarism which threatens 
to overflow her from the North, would leave them 
in the grasp of Russia. Hungary, then, is the only 
power which could hold them with safety to her- 
self and others. Let Hungary offer the Principali- 
ties a frank union, a fair share in the advantages 
of her constitution, and an equality of rights and 
privileges, and I have no doubt the Wallachians 
would gladly join themselves to a country which 


could guarantee them a national existence, civil 
and religious freedom, and an identity of material 
interests. Hungary too would gladly accept a share 
in the trade of the Black Sea, and might probably 
be induced to give up her claims on Gallicia for 
such a compensation, and then, with constitutional 
Poland reinstated in her integrity on the one side, 
and constitutional Hungary intervening on the other, 
the fears of invasion from absolute Russia would 
be an idle bugbear unworthy a moment's fear; 
but from no other combination can Europe ever 
be safe. 

But to return to Hermanstadt and the biedere 
Sachsen. The Hermandstadters are said to be of 
Flemish origin, and they have got a strange notion 
that the extraordinary dialect they commonly con- 
verse in has a strong resemblance to English. It 
might have been Hebrew for all I could understand 
of it. I believe there are not less than seven dis- 
tinct dialects among these Saxons, all supposed to 
have been derived from the different parts of Ger- 
many from which they originally came. They all 
spell and write German as it is now spoken. Here 
as elsewhere, Luther's Bible has formed the lan- 
guage after its own image, but even in reading the 
Bible they translate it into the common dialect. It 
is a common joke against the Saxons to ask them 
how they spell bqffleisch, their name for bacon, 
and they answer by spelling the classical German 
word s-p-e-c-k, calling it at the same time boffleisch. 


Even in the pulpit the clergyman reads in the 
vulgar dialect. 

When we left Hermanstadt and passed through 
more of the Saxon-land, we had still further reason 
to admire the habits and character of this people as 
exhibited by outward appearances. Never in my 
life did I see more flourishing villages than theirs ; 
even the Wallacks who have settled among them 
have caught something of their spirit, and look al- 
most comfortable and happy. The houses are well 
built, and though only of one story, they are always 
raised some feet above the ground, and are reached 
by a flight of steps. The gable end, which is turned 
towards the street, generally bears the date of its 
erection, the cipher of the builder, and, according to 
a good old Puritan custom, a verse from the Bible, 
recommending its inhabitants to the care of Provi- 
dence. The people were well dressed, and we 
passed in the course of the day a great number of 
smart lads and lasses, the former with bunches of 
flowers in their broad-brimmed hats ; the latter 
with showy jackets and their hair braided and 
ornamented with flowers most tastefully. 

And now, reader, we have passed Reismark and 
Miihlenbach, said adieu to the land of the Saxons, 
and are again among the Magyars at Karlsburg 
in my favourite valley of the Maros. I have no 
need to describe our route any further, as we have 
passed over it twice before. I believe we have 
now visited the greater part of Transylvania, very 


imperfectly of course, and I can safely say of it, 
in the words of a German writer "There is per- 
haps no country which has not some beauties to 
exhibit, but I never saw any which, like Transyl- 
vania, is all beauty," welches so wie Siebenbiirgen 
ganz Schonheit ware. And many as were the little 
discomforts, and inconveniences we have been ob- 
liged to put up with, we have managed to pro- 
vide against them tolerably well. While writing 
up my notes of this past day, I cannot, if I look 
round me, complain of any great misery, or at least, 
I cannot feel very unhappy about it, do what I 
will. Krumme Peter's apartment is certainly far 
inferior to his entertainment, but it contains three 
beds, and the servants have just covered them with 
our own linen; a supper of roast fowls and salad 
has satisfied our hunger, and the wine is neither 
sour nor weak ; and now that I see Niklos has 
filled my chibouque with choice Latakia, and rested 
its delicate amber mouthpiece on my pillow, mixed 
my cool draught of eau sucrt and placed it with a 
novel by my bedside why I believe I shall go to 
bed and read, and smoke for the next hour in as 
perfect a state of ecstasy as if my couch was down, 
and its hangings of most costly materials. 




Transylvanian Hospitality. Klausenburg. Transylvanian In- 
comes. Money Matters. The Gipsy Band, Our Quarters. 
The Stove. The Great Square. The Recruiting Party. A 
Soiree. The Clergy. The Reformed Church. Religious 
Opinions. The Consistory. Domestic Service. County 
Meeting. Count Bethlen Jnos. Progress of Public Opinion. 
The Arch-Duke. The Students and Officers Climate. 
Separation of three Counties. The Unitarians. Habits of 
Society. The Ladies. Education Children and Parents. 
Divorces. Casino and Smoking. Funerals. Schools. The 

WINTER set in with all its rigour, and we de- 
termined to remain quietly at Klausenburg, at least 


for some time. I pass over the presentation of 
introductions and the necessary formalities of mak- 
ing acquaintance. An Englishman, who is only 
accustomed to the stiff, though well-meant forms 
of English society, can have little idea how a 
stranger is received here. 

The first, family we visited, invited us to take 
our dinner and supper regularly with them when 
we had no other engagement. " You will find few 
persons in Klausenburg just at present ; the inns 
are very bad, and therefore, whenever you are not 
engaged, we shall expect the pleasure of your 
company at two o'clock for dinner, and at nine 
for supper." Nor was this a mere ceremony ; for 
if we missed one day, a servant was sure to come 
the next to invite us. With such a reception I 
need scarcely say we soon felt ourselves at home at 

But I believe I have never told the reader what 
sort of a place this Klausenburg is. Well then it is 
a pretty little town of about twenty-five thousand 
inhabitants, situated in the valley of the Szamos, 
and overlooked by hills on every side. It is built 
round a large square, in the centre of which stands 
the fine old Gothic cathedral. From this square, 
almost all the streets run off at right angles. The 
streets themselves 

taste, and^the^ houses, jhough handsome, are often 
of only one story, and never more than two. 

The old walls, gates, and towers which formerly 


guarded the town, are in great part standing, and 
I believe they even still close some of them at night. 
The Szamos does not run through the town, and 
it is well it does not ; for it is a strange unmanage- 
able river, and might carry it away in some of its 
sudden inundations. On the opposite side of it, 
however, there exists a part of Klausenburg, if such 
a title can be given to a collection of miserable huts, 
which cover the side of the hill. They are, for the 
most part, holes scraped out of the soft sandstone 
rock, with a little projecting thatch over the door. 
This wretched place is inhabited by gipsies and 
dogs. 1 unite the two, because, in an excursion 
I made into this region, I found more of the latter 
than the former, and it was not without some diffi- 
culty that I escaped from them. 

Though, generally speaking, Klausenburg can 
lay no claim to figure as a European capital, yet 
it possesses some few houses which would make a 
respectable appearance in London or Paris. It is 
very rare, however, that their owners occupy the 
whole of them, a part is generally let off to 
others. Although many of the Transylvanian nobles 
have immense estates, including twenty or thirty 
villages, there are very few of them who are not 
deeply in debt, and very much harassed for ready 
money. Six per cent, is the maximum of legal 
interest, but ten is more generally paid for loans. 
In matters of business the generality of the Tran- 
sylvanians are mere children. There is not one in 



fifty who can tell you the amount of his own in- 
come or expenditure. You are often surprised to 
hear a man of ten thousand acres, talk of receiving 
only seven or eight hundred pounds a-year in rents, 
and you are still more surprised when you hear that 
so small a sum maintains such a household as you 
see him keeping up. On inquiring a little further 
into the matter, you find he has not calculated 
as income or expenditure, all the corn and hay 
his twenty or thirty horses consume, all the game, 
poultry, fruit, bread, wine, and fire-wood, used in 
the family : " Oh ! that is nothing," he answers, if 
reminded of these matters ; " that all comes from 
my own estates." He reckons income what he re- 
ceives in hard cash ; expenditure, what he lays out 
in hard cash. 

In all Transylvania there is not a single banker. 
A retail tradesman, who has very large affairs with 
Pest and Vienna, will give money on bills, and un- 
dertakes the transmission of considerable sums, for 
a per centage; but of regular bankers there are 
none. Even this person will not receive deposits 
of money, unless paid five per cent, for keeping 
them ; for he says they are of no use to him he 
can do nothing with them. Imperfect laws, which 
render the recovery of debts difficult, is the real 
source of this inconvenience, but the habits of former 
times tend much to keep it up. When the country 
was subject to civil war, or to Turkish invasion, it 
was then, as it is still in Turkey, considered prudent 


and economical to hoard up gold, or lay out large 
sums in plate and jewels, so that in case of an 
attack, they might be easily hidden, or carried off. 
The same feeling still exists here, and it is not un- 
common for ladies with an income of five hundred 
pounds per annum, to possess more jewels than an 
Englishwoman of ten or twenty times that fortune 
would dream of. The quantities of pearls and 
diamonds with which some of the Hungarian ladies 
load their national costume, is quite out of all pro- 
portion ; to me they forcibly recalled the bead- 
decked dresses of the savages of the South Sea 
Islands, Heaven defend me, though, should they 
hear that I have said so ! 

At one of the first dinner parties to which we 
were invited, the attendance of the gipsy band was 
ordered, that we might hear some of the Hungarian 
music in its most original form. The crash of sound 
which burst upon us, as we entered the dining- 
room, was almost startling; for be they where 
they may, gipsy musicians make it a point to spare 
neither their lungs nor arms, in the service of their 
patrons. This band was one of the best in the 
country, and consisted of not less than twenty or 
thirty members, all of whom were dressed in smart 
hussar uniforms, and really looked very well. Few 
of them, if any, knew notes, yet they executed 
many very difficult pieces of music with consider- 
able accuracy. The favourite popular tune the 
Rakotzy, the Magyar " Scots wha hae," was given 



with great force. I am more than ever convinced 
that none but a gipsy band can do it full justice. 
The effect of the melancholy plaintive sounds with 
which it begins, increased by the fine discords which 
the gipsies introduce, and of the wild burst of passion 
which closes it, must depend as much on the manner 
of its execution as on the mere composition. It 
is rather startling to the stranger, on arriving at 
Klausenburg, that no sooner is he lodged in his inn, 
than he receives a visit from this gipsy band, who 
salute him with their choicest music to do honour 
to his coming ; and it is sometimes a little annoying 
to find that he cannot get rid of them without paying 
them most handsomely for their compliment. 

In December we left the inn, and got into very 

comfortable lodgings, in the house of Dr. P , 

with a sunny aspect and a look out into the market- 
place. We had altogether four rooms, for which we 
paid four pounds per month. When we dined at 
home, which was very seldom, they sent us in a very 
fair dinner, of five dishes, from the casino, at twenty- 
pence each. 

The weather was intensely cold, and we were 
obliged to keep large wood-fires in the stoves all 
day long. The windows were double, and the 
doors fitted pretty well, but we still felt it ex- 
cessively cold. We were fortunate in having old- 
fashioned stoves, which opened into the room, and 
which, if less elegant, are much more wholesome 
and comfortable than those which open on the 



outside. I do really think, of all unwholesome, 
uncomfortable inventions, the modern Austrian, or 
Russian stove is the worst. It throws a tremendous 
heat into the room, of a kind which, to those un- 
accustomed to it, is almost sure to produce head- 
ach, and at the same time it offers no vent for 
foul air. And then, as to regulating the heat, that 
is next to an impossibility. The late Emperor 
Francis wittily observed one day, that he believed 
"it required as much talent to warm a room, as 
to rule a kingdom," and I really think he was not 
far from the truth, for those who suffer the heat 
have no communication with him who makes the 
fire, nor does the latter ever enter the room to judge 
how far the heating is needed ; in fact he knows 
about as much of the feelings of those he alter- 
nately starves and stews, as an absolute monarch 
of the wants and necessities of those whom he 
paternally misrules. 

In a house we were staying at for some time, 
the daraband fire-maker was deaf and dumb, 
and all he could be made to understand was, 
that the rooms required heating. Whenever this 
poor fellow wished to show his liking to any 
one, he always did it by keeping the stove hot 
the whole day. By some means or other, it ap- 
peared that we had attracted his especial favour, 
and we soon found ourselves in danger of being 
roasted, from pure kindness. 

The cause of this daraband's loss of speech and 


hearing is curious. Till the age of thirty he had 
full possession of all his faculties ; but, at that 
time he met with a severe fall, which is supposed to 
have injured the brain, and which left him quite 
deaf and dumb, and partly idiotic. When very 
much excited, however, by passion, he has once or 
twice been . heard to speak, and that too, distinctly 
and well, but immediately afterwards he relapsed 
into his former state. 

Those who love looking out of windows, would 
scarcely choose Klausenburg as a winter's resi- 
dence. Even in our great square, we found but 
little variety. The old cathedral was opposite us, 
and would be a fine building, if its base was not 
obscured by shops. There is a shabby pillar also, 
intended to commemorate the visit of the late 
Emperor to Transylvania ; and these are the only 
objects of architectural pretension for the eye to 
rest on. As for variety of colour, there is none. 
Everything is covered with snow; the hills, the 
church, the houses, the square itself, are all snow, 
and when the peasants are wrapped up in their 
white sheepskin bundas, they look like snow too. 

On one side of the square stands the guard-house, 
and at eleven precisely every morning, a horrid 
noise of metal drums brings out the Hungarian 
grenadier guard, and splendid fellows they are 
too in their tight blue pantaloons, rough great- 
coats, and bear-skin caps to stand shivering in the 
cold for half an hour before the mystic signs of 

D D 2 


changing guard can be got through. On ordi- 
nary days this, with an occasional variety, as a 
horse falling on the frozen snow, or a barking clog 
startling the empty square, a sledge from the 
country with its four horses shaking their noisy bells 
as they dash along, or an old aristocratic coach 
with a pair of long-tailed prancers, and a coach- 
man buried to the nose in bear's skin is all that 
the most industrious window-watcher can dis- 
cover. As for the pedestrians, they do not de- 
serve looking at, for they are all alike, a mass of 
fur cloaks, which vary only in their being held more 
or less closely to the figure, as the weather is warmer 
or colder. 

On market-day, indeed, the scene is somewhat 
gayer ; the square is filled with small tents and 
waggons, where the peasants are displaying for sale 
their hay and corn, and poultry, and fire- wood, 
and exchanging them for such coarse commodities, 
chiefly cloth and leather, as they require. Brandy, 
too, runs away with a large part of their profits ; 
and few of those whom we saw so keen in haggling 
for a kreuzer in the morning would in a few hours 
after have sufficient sense left to guide them home. 

But the greatest variety the market-day offers, 
is the recruiting party. Since the violent disso- 
lution of the Diet, and the refusal of the counties 
to levy soldiers without a vote of supply, the Go- 
vernment has been obliged to resort to recruiting 
to fill up the regiments. Eight or ten smart young 


follows, dressed in hussar uniforms, and preceded 
by a gipsy band playing the national airs, pro- 
menade the town in loose order, talking and laugh- 
ing with all they meet, and looking so idle and 
so happy, that it is impossible not to envy them. 
Every now and then the party halts, forms a circle, 
and commences what is called the Werbung, or 
recruiting dance. It is performed to a favourite 
Hungarian air, and consists in slightly beating time 
with the feet, striking together the spurs, and oc- 
casionally turning round, the whole party singing 
all the time. While this was going on, I saw one 
sly fellow quietly steal from the circle of dancers, 
and walking outside the group of open-mouthed 
peasants, enter into conversation with them, and 
cunningly drop his most dainty baits before all the 
fish he thought likely to bite. Some of the wiser 
ones turned away, or pretended not to hear him, 
but two silly gudgeons were nibbling so long, that I 
am much mistaken if they were not hooked. And, 
indeed, it is no wonder; the music, the dancing, 
the national uniform, and the long spurs almost 
all that constitutes the pride and pleasure of an 
Hungarian peasant's life, seem within his grasp; 
and when to these are added the fourteen shil- 
lings smart-money, it is enough to upset the 
sternest virtue. The Hungarian peasant, however, 
always enlists on the understanding that he is 
to be a hussar, that he shall have a horse, and 
wear spurs and blue pantaloons; and bitter are 


the poor fellow's tears when, as is often the case, 
he finds himself on foot, and for his comely national 
dress, is forced to assume the hated breeches and 
gaiters of the Austrian infantry. 

Our usual mode of passing the day, after the 
simple breakfast of one tiny cup of coffee and a 
slice of bread, was in writing or taking lessons 

S in German, and I in Hungarian till two, 

which is the common dinner hour. From five to 
eight or nine every house is open, and we gene- 
rally paid our visits to the ladies' drawing-rooms 
during that time. At nine, we found ourselves 
hungry, and by no means unwilling to encounter 
a supper little less ponderous than the dinner, and 
then our pipes and books finished the day. This 
was the first time in the course of our Hungarian 
travels that we had found any real inconvenience 
in society from not understanding the Magyar 
language. In other places, German is the lan- 
guage commonly spoken, but the Transylvanians 
are too stanch Magyars for that ; and I even know 
some of them who have almost forgotten their 
German from pure patriotism. Twenty years ago, 
German nurses and governesses were found in every 
respectable house ; now French, or even English, 
are almost as common. 

A soirte, the first of the season, at the Countess 

's, to which we were invited, laid open to us 

something of the social habits of the capital. The 
invitation was verbal they seem to have a horror of 

A SOIREE. 407 

writing notes here and the time half-past six. 
In the first room sat a crowd of young ladies with- 
out a soul to speak to them, save a stray youth 
just escaped from college, or some good-tempered 
old beau who had taken pity on their destitute con- 
dition. In the second and third, were the usual 
complement of card-tables, dowagers, and dandies, 
with a few pretty women, still in the prime of life, 
and the sole objects of attention. How it is that 
this rigid separation should have been established 
between the maids and matrons, I know not ; but I 
suspect that some coquettish mammas were prudent 
enough to think that a separation between mother 
and daughter, at least in their cases, might be for 
the benefit of both parties, the exhibition of mam- 
ma's flirtations, un pen prononces, being scarcely 
adapted to improve her daughter's innocence ; and 
the daughter's fresh colour and youthful charms 
being certainly not calculated to set off the waning 
beauties of mamma. The refreshments were alto- 
gether exotic. A large table was crowded with 
tea-urns, cups and saucers, cakes and sweetmeats, 
bonbons, ices, a large bottle of ruin to take with 
the tea, after the Russian fashion, and I know not 
what else, of tempting delicacies besides. With 
some amateur music, to which no one listened, and 
some honest hard waltzing, in which all took real 
pleasure, a little scandal, and a little flirting, the 
party broke up at ten. 

With the exception of a slight tendency to the 


over-gay, the ladies' dresses were just the same as 
one sees in every other part of Europe ; at least, 
I am sure, I could tell no difference. Dancing seems 
really more of a passion here than I ever saw it 
anywhere else ; and the greatest misfortune that 
can happen to a young lady is, to have a paucity 
of partners. A lady told me the other day, that 
in her dancing times, she remembered well that she 
never said her prayers for her " daily bread," with- 
out adding " and plenty of partners at the next ball, 
I beseech thee." How far the prayer might be an 
appropriate one, I leave Theologians to decide ; but 
I am sure it was a sincere one ; and I believe the 
loss of the daily bread would not have appeared 
more cruel than the want of partners." 

On calling on the Baroness B one day, we 

found her sorrowing that her favourite maid was 
going to be married." 

" I shall never get so good a hairdresser again ; 
and, besides, she has been with me from childhood ; 
and, after all, she was much better off where she 
was, than as the wife of a poor clergyman." 

" What ! " I asked, " does a respectable clergy^ 
man marry a lady's waiting maid?" 

" Oh, yes ! It is the same gentleman you have 
met at my house in the country; he is a very 
honest man, and thinks himself very fortunate in 
getting her. She is quite as well educated, and 
has picked up rather better manners than the ge- 
nerality of those to whom he could aspire ; and, 


besides, he has probably some hopes that we may 
help him forward in consequence." 

" Arid shall you receive your former maid at your 
table, as you lately did the clergyman ?" 

" Of course not : he will come as usual, whenever 
we are in the country : but his wife will not dream 
of such a thing. You might have noticed, that 
although the lower ends of our tables are crowded 
by our stewards and bailiffs, and dependants of 
various kinds, their wives are never admitted." 

The great body of the Protestant clergy of Tran- 
sylvania are derived from the poorer classes of 
society, as the peasants or small tradesmen. Those 
of the towns, indeed, are often the sons of pro- 
fessors, merchants, or gentlemen of landed property ; 
but these form the exception, not the rule. During 
the period of their education, they are commonly 
maintained by assistance from the lord of the village 
to which they belong, by the charity of the Pro- 
testant body at large, or from the funds of the 
college itself. The latter portion of the time they 
remain in the schools is in part occupied in teach- 
ing, by which they gain something to help out their 
slender pittance. 

The government of the Reformed Churches in 
Transylvania approaches, in some respects, to that of 
the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The whole 
body of Calvinists is divided into seventeen circles, 
each circle being governed by a presbyter, notary, 
two laical curators, and two assistants. The eccle- 


siastical causes of each circle are judged by the 
presbyter and twelve clerical assessors. The ap- 
peal from the circle courts is to the General 
Synod, which is composed of the bishop, the pres- 
byters, notaries, two clerical deputies from each 
circle, and some laical deputies from the Consistory. 
The Consistory is the great council, or parliament 
of the Calvinists, and meets twice a year at Klau- 
senburg, to decide all the important affairs of the 
Church. The Consistory is composed of deputies 
(patroni), chosen thus: The members of every 
church, peasants or others, meet together every four 
years, and elect two of their own body, who, to- 
gether with the clergy, assembling from the whole 
circle, elect two, four, or five deputies (according to 
the size of the circle) to the Consistory. Besides 
these deputies, the Consistory is composed of the 
bishop, first notary, presbyters, notaries of circles, 
professors of colleges, curators of circles and col- 
leges, and all the lords-lieutenant, privy councillors, 
and state secretaries belonging to that religion. 
The Consistory chooses from its own body four 
presidents, of whom the eldest present always takes 
the chair. The election of the bishop is nominally 
made by the Synod, subject to the approval of 
Government; but the first notary, who succeeds 
to the bishopric as a matter of course, is chosen 
by the Synod independently. 

The manner of nominating to a cure is this : 
If a v*rllage is in want of a clergyman, the seigneur 


nominates some qualified person ; that is, some 
one who has gone through a course of education, 
like that described in speaking of the college of 
Enyed, and has been duly ordained ; and, if he is 
approved by the bishop, he, with the consent of 
the Synod, confirms the nomination. If, however, 
the peasants object to his induction, or afterwards 
become discontented with his services, the bishop 
is obliged to remove him. 

The salary of the Transylvanian clergyman is 
commonly very small. Besides a cottage and plot 
of ground, an entire peasant's fief, he receives 
a voluntary payment, the amount of which is 
agreed on beforehand, in part from the lord, and 
in part from the peasants. It is rarely that this is 
entirely in money. The peasants commonly agree 
to give a tenth of their corn and wine; and the 
lord, to a certain quantity of the same articles, adds 
a sum of money, varying from eight to twelve 
pounds. This is but a poor pittance for a man 
of talent and education ; and when it is considered 
that the greater part even of this depends on his 
pleasing the lord of the village, we shall not be 
surprised that the clergyman of Transylvania does 
not occupy so dignified and honoured a position 
as he ought to do. Though there are, undoubtedly, 
many men of high character among them, as a class, 
they are commonly spoken of by the nobles as 
deficient in independence and self-respect. Nor 
is this remark to be confined to the Protestants ; 


the Catholics are equally obnoxious to it. The 
very custom of admitting the priesthood to their 
tables as daily guests, amiable a trait as it may 
appear in the character of the nobles, without treat- 
ing them as equals, has a direct tendency to con- 
vert them into dependents and flatterers. Even 
the higher dignitaries of the church are not always 
free from the like animadversions ; and in speaking 
of ecclesiastical causes, of which they are the judges, 
I have often heard men of the highest character 
say, that a few presents and a little cajolery, will 
help them to unravel a knotty point, or solve a 
conscientious scruple with astonishing rapidity. 

From disregard for the professors of religion to 
a disregard for religion itself is but a short step, 
and I am sorry to say it is one which is often made 
in Transylvania. It is a common thing, among 
both Catholics and Protestants, for the best in- 
formed of the young people the old cling to the 
faith and observances of their forefathers with a 
fervent and sincere attachment to speak of reli- 
gion as a useful means of influencing mankind, of 
Christianity as a beautiful moral system ; but there 
are very few with whom I have spoken seriously on 
the subject, who have not denied its Divine origin. 
In fact, they seemed to think infidelity itself a 
proof of a strong and enlightened mind, and were 
astonished that any man of sense could really 
believe the authenticity of miracles. 

As might be anticipated from this laxity of belief, 


bigotry lias few devotees. The Catholic party is 
dominant, and those more immediately favoured by 
the Court, it is true, are somewhat inclined to- 
wards propagandism ; but, with both parties, religion 
is more a part of politics than of faith. The Pro- 
testants are neglected and oppressed because they 
are Protestants, and such treatment has created 
among them a considerable bitterness and a strong 
party spirit. Of course, this is not to be wondered 
at ; persecution is the best cure for indifference ; 
but it is rather startling to see the man with whom 
one has been arguing over-night for the credibility 
of Scripture, the next morning heading a meeting 
of strong Calvinists. " Why, what can you have 
to do with the Consistory?" I observed to Baron 

, one day when he was canvassing for a full 

attendance of members at the next assembly, 
"What can you have to do with the Consistory, if 
you don't believe in religion ?" "I may not believe 
the dogmas of the Reformed Church," he answered, 
" and yet have a strong conviction that the princi- 
ples of the Reformation, the right of free inquiry, 
and the duty of every man's forming his own 
opinion, are just and true. What I contend for 
now is the independence of our schools and colleges 
with respect to any interference on the part of an 
absolute and Catholic Government. In that I am 
as Protestant as the best believer amongst them." 

T have been sometimes at a loss whether most 
to admire or deprecate the treatment and position 


of servants here. A Transylvanian servant is com- 
monly the child of his master's peasant, perhaps 
one who has been left an orphan, and bequeathed 
to his care, perhaps a playfellow of his little master, 
who has been taken into the family in his very in- 
fancy, and there he will probably remain till he can 
serve no longer. Their wages are small, of course 
I speak of the generality, the very highest classes 
are the exceptions everywhere, those of footmen 
rarely exceeding four or five pounds a-year, and 
grooms and coachmen often receiving only one; but 
then they are all found in clothes, linen, and wash- 
ing. If a female servant wishes to marry, her mistress 
provides her a handsome trousseau, and helps to fur- 
nish her house ; if a man-servant marries, his wife is 
very likely taken into the family, or some out-door 
place is found for him. When they become too old 
to serve any longer there is no idea of turning them 
off, but they are commonly sent to some country 
house at a distance, and maintained there for their 
lives. Some gentlemen have dozens of these old 
pensioners quartered on different estates ; as they 
say, " it costs us but little ; for the expense of 
transporting the corn we receive in rent from our 
peasants would hardly pay for the trouble, and it 
keeps these poor fellows very comfortably." 

If this has its good side it has also its bad, for 
I never saw servants more negligent and dirty than 
those of Transylvania. I believe they do not rob 
their masters, but they get drunk on their best wines, 


lame their best horses, and probably disobey their 
orders five times out of ten. Nor do I think the 
familiarity with which they are commonly treated, 
any more a proof of respect or of kindly feeling, 
than our distance and reserve of cruelty and pride. 
The more nearly the servant approaches the master 
in his rights and position in society, the more 
necessary it is that reserve should intervene to 
keep up that deference, without which obedience 
can hardly be expected. But when the servant 
is of another caste, and can never approach the 
sphere of those above him, the case is different, and 
the more he approaches to the state of the slave, 
the more he is treated with familiarity, because there 
is the less danger of his being tempted to forget his 
relative position in consequence of it. In America 
the negroes in the slave-states are treated with in- 
finitely more familiarity than they are in the others ; 
but it would be absurd on that account to con- 
clude that slavery is preferable to freedom, or 
that the freeman's master is more cruel than the 
owner of the slave. In Russia, this contemptuous 
familiarity is carried to a still greater extent. A 
princess of that country was once discovered em- 
ploying her footman in lacing her stays, and when 
remonstrated with by her more civilized visitor, an- 
swered very composedly, " What can it signify ? lie 
is only a servant." To a modification of the same 
feeling, I attribute much of the familiarity with 
which servants are treated in Transylvania, the very 


praise of a good servant, that " he is faithful as a dog," 
is enough to prove it ; and I cannot, therefore, as 
many writers have done, from seeing it in other parts 
of the Continent, hold it up to admiration or imita- 
tion. The good servant ought to be too much re- 
spected by his master to be treated with familiarity ; 
for in the dependent position which he necessarily 
occupies, it could only degrade him to a mean flat- 
terer, or render him disobedient and careless. 

The dislike to any other livery than their na- 
tional dress is very strong among the servants 
here; indeed, to such an extent is it carried, that 
those who wish to have servants in livery are often 
obliged to hire them at Pest or Vienna. Except 
the lady's maid, the female servants are commonly 
dressed like the peasant women, and wear the same 
substantial boots and bundas. 

On the fifth of December, there was a meeting 
of the county of Klausenburg, the first held since 
the dissolution of the Diet. This looked as if the 
Government were inclined to try conciliation, and 
we heard that all the chiefs of the liberal party 
were anxious that it should pass off with the great- 
est quietness, but that they were resolved at the same 
time to manifest a firm adherence to their rights. 
The course to be adopted was determined on at a 
meeting of the principal nobles at the house of Count 
Bethlen Janos, the admitted leader of the liberals; 
and it was to assemble and draw up a protest 
against the dissolution of the Diet, and all the sub- 


sequent acts of the executive, and then to separate, 
with a refusal to act in any way with a Government 
of which they cannot acknowledge the legality. 

The meeting took place in the hall, formerly 
occupied by the Diet, and which was still fitted up 
as it had been during the sittings of that assembly, 
with rows. of benches covered with green cloth. 
The Administrator, the substitute for the Lord- 
lieutenant who had resigned, took his place with 
fear and trembling ; for he was aware how strong 
the opposition was against him, and he did not 
probably feel quite comfortable as to how the 
meeting might end. After the clerks had read over 
some documents, among which was the Imperial 
Ordinance closing the Diet, in Latin, Count Bethlen 
Janos rose. Added to an exceedingly fine counte- 
nance and striking figure, Bethlen Janos possesses 
a voice of greater depth and sweetness than I ever 
remember to have heard. His manner is calm, but 
earnest and persuasive in the highest degree. He 
is generally accused of being too lazy to take such 
an active share in public affairs as his talents and 
eloquence demand of him. That could not be 
charged against him, however, on this occasion. He 
had been suffering from ague for several months 
previously, and was actually under the influence of 
the fever while he was speaking. 

His task was a difficult one. A considerable 
number of Szolga-birok, magistrates, who had been 
fairly chosen in 1833, in consequence of the cessa- 



tion of the county meetings, had not been able to 
give up their offices, as they were bound to do, at 
the end of the year, and go through a new elec- 
tion ; they had now been three years in office. All 
these men were anxious to come forward and re- 
sign ; but as it was determined that nothing should 
be done, of course their re-election could not have 
been made, and probably Government would have 
appointed a set of corrupt bureaucrats in their places. 
The quiet dignified manner, and calm reasoning of 
Count Bethlen, seemed to have its effect. Some 
of the friends of Government tried to counteract 
his wise counsel by stimulating the more uncom- 
promising of the opposition to a violent course- 
but it was in vain ; the moderates carried the day. 
A committee was appointed to draw up a protest, 
and the meeting adjourned. Many of the best 
speakers had been drawn off by similar meetings 
having been called together in several other coun- 
ties. After Bethlen Janos, the best speakers were 
Baron Kerne* ny Domokos, Zejk Joseph, and Count 
Teleki Domokos. The speeches were generally very 
short, and in consequence the speakers found it 
frequently necessary to rise and interrupt in order 
to explain their meaning more fully, which pro- 
duced some confusion in the debate. 

Even among the liberal party, different opinions 
have been formed as to the prudence and wisdom of 
the extreme measures of Baron Wessele'nyi, which 
led to the violent dissolution of the Diet on the 


part of the Government. Many of those who had 
followed his steps while successful, were anxious 
to escape from the path into which their fears and 
not their convictions had drawn them. Others, 
too weak to oppose the torrent in the height of 
its flow, now began to make themselves heard ; 
and there were many who believed that a more 
cautious, if less direct, course would have been 
attended with more favourable results. Perhaps 
these opinions are right, and on the spot, I was 
much inclined to agree with them myself; at the 
same time, it is impossible to deny that the prin- 
ciples of Wessel^nyi if too advanced both for the 
Government and the mass of his countrymen, were 
in themselves noble and high. The attempt to 
carry them out at that moment may have been 
imprudent, untimely ; but they have had the effect 
which all high party principles have, of engen- 
dering sentiments of disinterested nationality and 
generous devotion to the public good. A few 
years ago, Government would have been right in 
counting on love of place as stronger than love of 
principle ; but a public conscience has been called 
into action ; he that could get the most was not 
the most esteemed and as was seen in the mo- 
ment of action, even men of doubtful conduct no 
longered dared to leave the straight course, so 
strong was the public feeling against any derelic- 
tion from public duty. For this the country has, 
in a great measure, to thank Wessele"nyi, and I 

E E 2 


am not sure that it is not the greatest boon he 
could have conferred on it.* 

Nothing can be conceived more uneasy than the 
state of society here at the present moment. Poli- 
tics have completely divided the most intimate 
friends, so that it is difficult to form even a dinner 
party without bringing opponents together. The 
Arch-duke and his small band of officials, together 
with the whole of the military, are sent to Coven- 
try by the greater part of the nobility. Many 
ladies not only refuse to attend at his palace, but 
will not go into society where he is invited. Of 
course this has no tendency to soften the Arch- 
duke's feelings, and many tales are afloat of the 
harsh things he has said. That he is a most dan- 
gerous enemy of constitutional rights is beyond 
all question. Only a short time since, in answer 
to a remonstrance from one of the most moderate 

* Later events have still further confirmed this opinion. The 
Transylvanian Diet was called together again in 1838, at Her- 
manstadt, and almost all the points formerly refused were re- 
demanded, and finally obtained from the Government. The Diet 
firmly refused to elect the Arch-duke for governor, and he has in 
consequence left the country. Many of those gentlemen who gave 
up their places on the dissolution of the former diet, have been 
re-elected by the present one, to still higher posts ; the election 
of the president, and the publication of the debates, have been 
yielded without opposition, and it is to be hoped, that in future 
the country and Government will cordially unite in amending 
the institutions, and ameliorating the condition of this beautiful 
country. The first act of the Diet was to appoint a commission 
for the reform of the laws affecting the peasantry. 


of the opposition, on the illegality of some ordi- 
nance just issued, he observed, " Das erste Gesetz 
ist des Kaisers Befehl, the first law is the Em- 
peror's will," a sentiment too absolute to find an 
echo even within the walls of the Seraglio. 

These feelings of dislike to the Court and its 
party, have, been strongly called forth by an occur- 
rence which took place in the theatre within these 
last few days. As a young student was passing out 
of the theatre, at the same time with a number 
of officers, he pushed against one of them rudely 
in all probability, and not quite unintentionally, 
for between officers and students there is a great 
hatred, when the officer and several of his com- 
panions drew their swords, attacked the unarmed 
boy, and wounded him severely. In England, the 
officers would have been tried for murder; here, 
they were commended by their superiors, and the 
student thrown into prison. Now though, for my 
own part, I fully agree with the Transylvanians 
in regarding such an act with the greatest horror, 
it is but just to the Austrian army to give the 
reasons by which they attempt to justify it. If 
an Austrian officer receives an insult and does not 
avenge it, he is looked upon by his comrades as 
a coward; if he fights a duel, he is broken by 
his commander ; and therefore, to redress his own 
wrongs the moment they are inflicted is the only 
plan by which he can escape dishonour or punish- 
ment. It is still difficult to conceive, however, by 


what sophistry it could be considered fair to use 
arms against an unarmed man. 

Towards the middle of January the cold became 
excessive. At eight o'clock in the morning of the 
tenth of that month, the thermometer stood at 
twenty-two degrees of Reaumur, or fifty degrees of 
Fahrenheit below freezing. This is a greater de- 
gree of cold than has been known at Klausenburg 
for many years ; indeed it is colder than a common 
winter at St. Petersburg. The winter in general, 
however, is exceedingly severe in Transylvania, and 
I know no better instance to prove how much other 
circumstances, besides the latitude, influence the 
climate of a country. Klausenburg is thirteen de- 
grees south of St. Petersburg, and five degrees south 
of London ; yet, owing to its geographical position, 
it has five months winter of almost arctic severity. 
The contrast is rendered still more striking when 
we recollect that the summers here are so hot as 
to produce the grape and water-melon in the open 

This was the first time I ever felt a really painful 
cold, and on going out I found it affect my eyes 
severely. The breath froze on the moustache and 
whiskers, and though I heard of no noses being 
lost, several ladies had their ears frozen in close 
carriages, as they were going out to parties. The 
bread they brought us in the morning was mostly 
frozen, and we heard that the liqueurs had frozen 
during the night, and broken their bottles. I was 


surprised one day to see a peasant, who was talk- 
ing to another in the square, resting his hand on 
the head of a roe-buck, which appeared so tame 
that it stood quietly by his side ; but in a few se- 
conds, when the men parted, I was still more 
astonished to see him set the animal exactly in the 
same position on his shoulders, and walk off with it. 
In fact all the game and meat was frozen, and re- 
quired a gradual thawing before it could be used. 

A considerable sensation has been excited of late 
by a report that three counties of Transylvania, 
formerly belonging to Hungary, are to be restored 
to that country. The Transylvanians do not seem 
to relish this plan much ; they say these counties 
are eminently Protestant and liberal, and if taken 
away, the opposition would be so much weakened 
as to be in danger of extinction, others, again, 
hope it may only be a prelude to an union of the 
whole of Transylvania to Hungary, which would be 
a means of strengthening the latter country, and 
would insure the Transylvanians also a more strict 
observance of their rights, though the rights them- 
selves might be somewhat restricted by it. 

We had a visit one day from Szekelly Moses Ur, 
the professor of Theology in the Unitarian College 
here. Professor Szekelly told me he spent a short 
time in England some years back, and visited most 
of the Unitarian congregations. At the Unitarian 
College in York, he was much astonished at the 
wealth of the professors ; the first " had 300/. a-year," 


and the two others 150/. each " but England," said 
he, " is a rich country ! " " How much have you 
then, if you consider that such excessive wealth ? " 
I asked. 

" We have 30/. a-year each and rooms in the col- 
lege, and there are few professors here better paid 
than we are/' 

Professor Szekelly estimates the Unitarians of 
Transylvania at forty-seven thousand. In the col- 
lege there are two hundred and thirty students, of 
whom one hundred are togati, and follow the higher 
branches of learning, the rest classisten, mere boys. 
There are professors of Mathematics, Philosophy, 
History,* and Theology, besides six preceptors un- 
der them. We visited the college and church, the 
latter of which is a handsome building and kept in 
good order. The form of service is the same as that 
maintained in all Protestant dissenting churches. 

Unitarianism was introduced into Transylvania by 
Isabella, daughter of the King of Poland, and wife of 
the first Zapolya, and it was under her regency, dur- 
ing the minority of her son, that they obtained equal 
privileges with the other professors of Christianity. 
Blaudrata, the physician of Isabella, is said to have 
taught her the doctrines which Servetus was pro- 
mulgating in Italy. For some time Unitarianism 
remained the religion of the Court, and of course, 
it soon became the religion of the courtiers. Since 
that time, however, many changes have occurred, 
* The Unitarians have also Gymnasia at Thorda and Keresztur. 


by none of which have the poor Unitarians gained. 
Their churches have been taken away from them 
and given in turns to the Reformed and the Ca- 
tholics. Their funds have been converted to other 
purposes ; the great have fallen away and followed 
new fashions as they arose, and the religion is now 
almost entirely confined to the middle and lower 
classes. It is in the mountains of the Szekler-land 
that this simple faith has retained the greatest 
number of followers. Here, as elsewhere, they are 
said to be distinguished for their prudence and 
moderation in politics, their industry and morality 
in private life, and the superiority of their education 
to the generality of those of their own class. 

The habits of society in Transylvania, in many 
respects, differ little from those of England about 
the end of the last century. The ladies usually 
pass their mornings in attending to the affairs of 
their households, or in listening over their embroi- 
dery to the news of the day which a neighbouring 
gossip has kindly brought to them. Some of them, 
it is true, spend these hours at the easel or the 
drawing-table, and others store their minds with 
the choicest products of foreign literature. In 
addition to a pretty good circulating library which 
Klausenburg already contains, the ladies have lately 
established a book-club among themselves, in order 
to insure a better supply of new books. I know 
many ladies to whom the names and works of all 
our best classics are familiar, either in the originals 


or translations, and there are very few who cannot 
talk learnedly of Byron and Scott. This may not 
be thought to show any very great proficiency in 
literature, but I am afraid if we were to ask English 
ladies how much they know not of Hungarian 
writers but of those of Germany even, we should 
often find their knowledge still more shallow. 

The education of children is for the most part 
committed to the mother's care. In the richer 
families she is aided by a governess and a master, 
in those less rich the whole duty rests on her, but 
in no case is it left entirely to the care of strangers. 
Boarding-schools are almost unknown ; and the boys 
are consequently committed to the care of private 
tutors, often priests or clergymen, till fit to be sent 
to college. It is a great misfortune that the whole- 
some lessons which pride so often receives in public 
schools, cannot be enjoyed by these children. Too 
often their tutors are little more than their servants, 
and they are consequently brought up with an over- 
weening idea of their own consequence, and of the 
inferiority of all around them. Count Sz^chenyi 
has given a humorous description of this sort of 
education, and its effects, which is worth quoting. 
Although intended for Hungary, and a little exag- 
gerated, there are not wanting instances even in 
Transylvania to which it might be well applied. 

" Many of our children, from their very infancy, 
have always been attended by a couple of hussars, 
whose labour has been to praise their little master's 


every act in hopes of adding a trifle to their wages 
by their servility albeit they have rarely succeeded 
in that matter. Has the little count walked half a 
mile oh, what a pedestrian he will make ! Has he 
got through an examination private of course, 
and are his parents in office what a great man he 
will turn out some of these days ! If the young 
gentleman, attended by a handsome suite, pays a 
visit to his fathers estates, everybody is in waiting 
to receive him, and he sees things only in their 
holiday dress. Suppose his studies now finished 
that is, his private tutor dismissed and he sets out 
on his travels to gain a knowledge of the * world.' 

He pays a visit to Count N , to Baron M , 

to the Vice Ispan H , and to Squire F ; he 

passes through a good part of his father-land, finds 
horses everywhere ordered for him, and is sure to be 
well received wherever he presents himself, and so 
between visits to his friends and a few weeks' bath- 
ing at Mehadia or Fiired, manages to get through 
the summer. After a six weeks' residence in Venice 
and Munich, to complete his knowledge of foreign 
'Weltweisheit? world- wisdom he returns home, 
and is appointed to an office already waiting for 
him. And now he plays the great man ; he knows 
his father-land, has travelled into foreign countries, 
talks about the English Parliament and the French 
Chambers, and enlightens his hearers with his 
opinions on these matters. Then he tells them in 
how sad a state France is, how her agriculture is 


fallen, and darkly hints that Great Britain may yet 
be ruined by her steam-engines and machinery !" 

From some of these dangers the education of the 
women is free. Left entirely to a mother's care, or 
taught by a foreign governess under her eye, there 
is little chance of their falling into these errors; 
nor indeed, as they are excluded from political 
employment, is it worth the Government's while to 
interfere for the sake of checking a mental deve- 
lopement which it so much fears in the other sex. 

i I must do the sons and daughters ofjlungary the f 
credit to say, that in no^ country is the behaviour j 

. of the child to the parent more__ respectful than in 

Hungary^ This partly depends on the habits incul- 

cated in early life. From infancy the child is 
taught to kiss^ the parent's hand _as_its^ordinary 
salutation, and the morning and evening greetings 
are considered matters of duty, and punctiliously 

fe 1 It is pleasant to see the 

married daughter kiss the mother's hand and receive 
| her blessing as she leaves for the night, and in the 
morning to find her in attendance to offer her parent 
the first salutations on the coming day. Nor is the 
Wstom which places the mother at the head of the 
daughter's table, and which makes her almost mis- 
tress of the house when she visits her child, less 
soothing to the feelings of one who has long been 
looked up to as the directress of all about her. T 
have often been surprised to observe the absolute 
silence maintained by grown-up sons in the presence 


of their fathers, and I have sometimes been sorry 

wherTI have seen them sacrifice, if not their political 
sentiments, at least the conduct which those senti- 
ments would have dictated, to the feelings and 
prejudices of old age. Great as is the respect we 
owe our parents, the duty we owe our country is 
more sacred still. 

Society, at least during the winter, occupies a 
large share of the ladies' time and attention. After 
dinner they commonly make their visits ; in summer 
they drive out to the Volks Garten, or some other 
place in the neighbourhood, and still later either 
receive visitors at home, or go out to spend the 
evening with some of their friends. Though more 
domestic in their habits than the French, they are 
not such slaves to their firesides as ourselves. It is 
not thought a misfortune to ppend an evening alone, 
but it is more commonly passed in society. 

The conversation of small towns is very apt to 
run into scandal and tittle-tattle, and Klausenberg 
is certainly not free from the imputation ; but if 
the weeds of the social system find a soil for their 
nourishment here, its flowers are not less plentiful 
and luxuriant. There are womenjn Transylvania 
.whose accomplishments and manners would render 
them the ornament of any society in which the] 
might be placed. Nor is the general tone of con- 
versation much lower in its intellectuality, what- 1 
ever it may be in refinement, than in i mostother 
countries. I was particularly struck by the freedom 


with which political and religious discussions were 
often carried on before ladies here, and by the 
interest and share they took in it. In Transylvania, 
I never heard a lady insulted by an apology for 
speaking in her presence of subjects which interested 
her husband, father, or brother. Perhaps the next 
sentence may explain the cause of this. 

The position of women in Hungary and Transyl- 
vania, with respect to their civil and even political 
rights is very different from what it is with us. 
We have already remarked, when speaking of the 
Diet at Presburg, that the widows of magnates have 
the right of sending a deputy to sit, though not to 
speak or vote, in the lower chamber ; and in the 
county meetings, the widows of all nobles can send 
their representatives to act in their names. Their 
civil rights, that is, of the married women or 
widows, for the maid remains a minor and ward of 
her nearest male relation, should she live to the age 

Methuselah are still more important. ^An^Hun- 
garian lady never loses her maiden name, and even 
during her husband's life, actions at law regarding 
her property are conducted in her name. Over her 
property the husband has, byjaw no right whatso- 
ever; even the management of it she may retain 
in her own hands, though she rarely or never does so. 

In cases of divorce, where the character of the 
wife is unimpeached, the whole of the children are 
left in the care of the mother till the age of seven, 
and the girls during their whole lives. 


Divorces are far from uncommon among the 
Protestants of Transylvania ; for except when at- 
tended by scandalous disclosures, which is rare, 
both law and custom mark them as unfortunate 
rather than disgraceful. They are commonly ob- 
tained by the wife against the husband on the 
plea of ill treatment, inveterate dislike, impossi- 
bility of living together, or the employment of 
threats or force to accomplish the marriage any 
of which are sufficient in law and she retains all 
her property and rights unimpaired. It is curious 
that very few cases occur in which they do not 
marry again quite as well as before. 

The Casino at Klausenburg, if less splendid than 
its elder brother in Pest, is at least equally hospit- 
able : our names were put down, and we were 
free of it as long as we chose to stay. The ladies 
complain that their drawing-rooms are sadly de- 
serted since the establishment of the Casino ; the 
attractions of pipes, cards, billiards, conversation, 
and books, seem' to have beat those of beauty. It 
is rare to go into the Casino of Klausenburg during 
the evening and not find its rooms full. If I com- 
plained that the Casino of Pest was invaded by 
the pipe, what shall I say of that of Klausenburg? 
Its air is one dense cloud of smoke, and it is easy 
to detect any one who has been there by the smell 
of his clothes for some time after. Such a smoking 1 

ti^n^s^this^Ijiever saw ; the Germans are novices ] 
to them in the art. Reading, writing, walking, or J 


riding, idle or at work, they are never without the 
pipe. Even in swimming, I have seen a man puff- 
ing away guite composedly. A coachman thinks 
it is a great hardship if he may not smoke as he is 
driving a carriage, although it may happen that the 
smoke blows directly into the face of his mistress. 
The meerschaum is cherished by the true smoker 
with as much care as a pet child : when new, he 
covers it up in a little case of soft leather that it 
may not be scratched, and he smokes it regu- 
larly and with great caution, that it may take 
an equal colour throughout ; and when at last it 
has obtained the much -esteemed nut-brown hue, 
with what pride does he exhibit and praise its 
beauty ! A meerschaum, engraved with arms, is 
one of the common presents between intimate 
friends ; and some of them are worked with ex- 
quisite taste and skill. The most common tobacco 
bag is a part of the skin of the goat, and is often 
ornamented with rich embroidery. 

The most luxurious smoker I ever knew, was a 
young Transylvanian, who told us that his servant 
always inserted a lighted pipe into his mouth the 
first thing in the morning, and that he smoked it 
out before he awoke. " It is so pleasant," he ob- 
served, " to have the proper taste restored to one's 
mouth before one is sensible even of its want." 

I am sorry to say smoking does not confine itself 
to the Casino or the bachelor's bedroom, but 
makes its appearance even in the society of ladies. 


In some houses, pipes are regularly brought into 
the drawing-room with coffee after dinner, and I 
have even heard of a ball supper being finished 
with smoking. I never knew a lady who did not 
dislike this custom ; but they commonly excuse it 
by the plea that they could not keep the gentlemen 
with them if they did not yield to it. It is but 
justice to say, however, that there are drawing- 
rooms in Klausenburg from which this abomina- 
tion is rigidly excluded, and where the gentle- 
men are still happy to be allowed to make their 
bows without a similar permission being extended 
to their meerschaums. 

S was present at the funeral of Count 

R , and has given me some curious particulars 

of it. Count R was a Protestant, and the 

greatest part of the ceremony took place in his 
own house. After a short service, and a general 
sermon to all those invited to the funeral, the 
clergyman proceeded to address each one of the 
mourners separately and by name. He began with 
the nearest relative, in this case the widow, and 
after enlarging on the virtues of the deceased, as a 
husband and father, pointed out the consolation 
she might derive from the reflection, and when at 
last she was quite overcome by her feelings, she 
was led out by two of her friends, and the next 
of kin was then addressed in the same way, and so 
on through the whole company. Such a ceremony, 
if well conducted, gives the clergyman a great 



opportunity of correcting the faults and failings of 
individuals in circumstances when admonition is most 
kindly received ; but as in our own funeral sermons, 
it too often ends in a mere panegyric of the deceased, 
without regard to his deserts, or to the edification of 
the hearers. To speak impartially under such cir- 
cumstances would often be cruel, and is scarcely possi- 
ble in any case : in Transylvania it is rendered still 
more difficult by the handsome present the clergyman 
commonly receives for his services on the occasion. 

I was taken by the Baroness B to see a 

school in which she felt great interest, and in the 
foundation of which she had taken a considerable 
share. This school was for children of all religions, 
and had been established to enable the poor Pro- 
testants and others to educate their children with- 
out having them tempted to become converts to 
Catholicism, of which they were in danger in other 
places. The system pursued was that of Lancaster, 
and it seemed to succeed well. They only attempt 
to teach the first elements of education, as far as 
learning is concerned, but what is of more impor- 
tance, religious and orderly habits are insisted on. 
The services of the day are begun and ended with a 
prayer and hymn, and the reading of select passages 
from the Bible. Among the children were Calvin- 
ists and Unitarians, Catholics, Greeks and Jews, 
the latter only taking no part in the religious acts. 

There are other schools for the poorer classes, 
founded by the Baroness Josika, a lady of great 


enterprise and public spirit, to whom Klausenburg 
is indebted for many very useful institutions. 

In spite of not understanding a word that was 
said, I went several times to the theatre as a matter 
of duty. I cannot say a great deal in favour of the 
acting, but I really do not think it was worse than is 
seen in the provincial theatres of most other coun- 
| tries. Klausenburg was the first town that could 
boast of a regular Magyar theatre, and may there- 
fore claim to have exercised no slight influence in 
extending and polishing the language. I met Mr. 
Jancso, the first Hungarian actor who ever distin- 
guished himself, the other day at dinner at the 

Countess W 's. He is said to have enjoyed great 

popularity in his day, and to have fully deserved it. 
He is now old, and, like so many of our own past 
favourites, but very ill provided for. Whenever the 

Countess W , however, is in town, Jancso is 

sure of a good dinner, as there is always a cover 
laid for him at her table. 

Having sufficiently recovered from a slight hurt I 
had received about the middle of January, which the 
cold had aggravated into a rather troublesome affair, 
I began to think of moving ; and we accordingly de- 
termined to bid adieu to Klausenburg and spend the 
carnival in Pest. In truth, the unhappy divisions 
which politics have caused in society renders Klau- 
senburg anything but a pleasant residence just at 
present. It is idle to say that such matters should 
have nothing to do with our enjoyments where 

F F 2 



great interests are at stake every legitimate means 
of exercising moral influence must be employed ; the 
renegade, the seller of his conscience, must be ex- 
cluded from the drawing-room, as he is from the 
senate; must be shunned by the women as he is 
despised by the men. But necessary as all this may 
be, it is far from pleasant, and we therefore deter- 
mined to bid it farewell, hoping that the moderation 
of the people, and the returning good sense of the 
Government, would in a few years restore to Klau- 
senburg its former character of one of the gayest 
little places in the world. 


THE POET. 437 



Return to Pest. A Poet. Travelling comforts. The Car- 
riers. Gross Wardein. Prince Hohenlohe. The Italian. 
Paprika Hendel. Great Cumania. The Cumanians and 
Jazygers. The worst Road in Hungary. 

ON the 24th of January, we bade adieu to Klau- 
senburg and took the road to Pest. It was Friday, 
and many were the evil predictions of our kind 
friends; but a bright morning, and the thermo- 
meter as high as 18 below freezing of Fahrenheit, 
were not to be neglected. While changing horses 
at Nagy Kapus, the first post, we were saluted in 
Italian by an important-looking personage, who in- 
formed us that he was a poet, and who inquired in 
return if we were not the Englishmen who, he heard, 
were wandering about the country. We were but 
too proud to acknowledge the identity, when he 
assured us he had already informed his literary 
society of the strangers' visit to these distant 
lands, and begged our names and titles, that he 
might make no error in any future mention of 
us! It appears that he had served in the Aus- 
trian army during the wars of Napoleon, and was 


received a member of some learned society at 
Milan, since which period he has been continually 
writing poetry, which no one reads. 

In spite of an invitation to stay the night at 
Banffy Hunyad, we determined to push on for 
Gross Wardein as quickly as possible. We had 
a bright moon, and its rays falling on the snow 
with which everything was covered, left us no- 
thing to desire as far as light was concerned. 
The cold we did not fear, for we had taken 
very effectual means to guard against that. It is 
only in really cold countries that man knows how 
to keep himself warm. Our heads were well pro- 
tected by a kalpak, or high fur cap, the whole 
body enveloped in a bunda or fur cloak, the 
hands in fox-skin gloves, and the feet and legs in 
a sack of thick cloth lined with sheep-skin, decid- 
edly one of the happiest efforts of human genius. 
Bless that sack ! for during four days and a night 
in the midst of snow, travelling among wooded 
mountains, and over extensive plains, our happy 
toes rejoiced in an uninterrupted state of a most 
felicitous insensibility to cold. 

From Hunyad to Nagy Barod, the road, equal 
to a good English turnpike-road, follows the valley 
of the Sebes Kb'rb's, one of the prettiest in Tran- 
sylvania, terminating in a fine pass, beyond which ? 
from the height above Nagy Barod, the whole 
plain of Hungary lay before us. While waiting 
here till the post-mistress had run over the scat- 


tered village to make up the number of horses, 
for we were now in Hungary, and the post was no 
longer so good as in Transylvania we went into 
the little inn in hopes of obtaining some apology 
for supper. The only room was fully occupied ; 
in one corner lay the landlord, and in a box, sus- 
piciously near, his handmaid Julie ; on the floor 
were scattered, apparently, heaps of sheep-skins 
and boots, but in fact, a number of carriers on 
their way from Klausenburg to Pest, and all so 
fast asleep, that walking amongst them failed to 
disturb their slumbers. These, however, were the 
master carriers ; their waggons, horses, and dri- 
vers, were filling the snow-covered yard through 
which we had passed. I class the horses, men, 
and waggons together, as they all reposed quietly 
in the snow together, and seemed all equally in- 
sensible to its cold. In winter, when the Theiss 
and Maros are frozen, these carriers form the only 
means of commercial intercourse between Hun- 
gary and Transylvania. They have generally a 
train of light waggons, each with eight or ten 
small horses, and carrying perhaps 40 to 50 cent- 
ners per waggon. The whole distance from Pest 
to Klau^ejibm^j^QmTe^,_in summer, from ten to 
twelve days, and four^e^n_Jn^baj__wjeather, and the 
charge is from four to five shillings per centner, 
according to the state of the roads, for the whole 
journey. The carriers themselves are most trust- 
worthy, nor is there any danger from robbery. 


These men go up to Vienna when the goods from 
the Leipsic fair arrive there, and carry them di- 
rectly to Klausenburg ; in fact, all the commerce of 
the country passes through their hands. A person, 
twenty years engaged in this trade, assured us he 
had never known a robbery of his waggons. 

A little thin soup, and a well-garlicked sausage 
again fortified us for the road, and we reached 
Gross Wardein by eleven the next morning, more 
than eighty miles in the four-and-twenty hours. 
/ Gross Wardein is really one of the prettiest little 
towns I have seen for a long time. Its wide, well- 
builtstreets of one-storied houses, and extensive 
market-places, are quite ^o the taste of the Magyar, 
who loves not the narrow lanes and high houses 
of his German neighbours. But the glory of Gross 
Wardein is in its gilded steeples, its episcopal palace, 
its convents, and its churches ; and although of the 
latter, the seventy which it formerly boasted are re- 
duced to twenty-two, they are quite sufficient for the 
eighteen thousand inhabitants it contains. Prince 
Hohenlohe, of miracle-working memory, is now the 
occupant of this see. His elevation to the bishop- 
ric, has, however, completely extinguished the light 
of miracle: some say that the old Emperor gave 
his reverend highness a strong hint that such ex- 
hibitions were but little to his taste, and begged 
that Gross Wardein might not be made the scene 
of his pious humbugs. Only a few months since, 
a gouty old Englishman, a man of education and 


family, astonished the inhabitants of this little town, 
by informing them that he had come all the way 
from England to be cured of his gout by the Prince. 
Some of those who told me of it, touched their 
foreheads, nodded significantly, and seemed to think 
the poor gentleman's malady was not confined to 
his toes. On finding his errand bootless, he posted 
direct back as he had come, without troubling him- 
self with looking at any object on the way. 

Three hours were we obliged to wait at Gross 
Wardein for horses. As I was strolling alone 
through its wide streets, with that particularly kill- 
time lounge, common to all travellers detained 
against their will, a " Sense, signore " introduced me 
to a pair of bright black eyes, which recalled me 
at once to the banks of the Arno or Tiber, and 
which belonged to a very pretty woman, whose 
appearance indicated that she belonged to that 
demicaste, half lady half not, the members of 
which are so often sacrificed to their own vanity 
and our egoism. 

" Perhaps il Signore is going to Italy." 

" Not at present." 

" Che, disgrazia ! I had hoped you were going 
there, and would have taken me with you. I have 
been here for some months, and am so tired of 
hearing nothing but Hungarian, and seeing nothing 
but snow, that I would fain be once more back 
in dear Florence : I should never wish to travel 

442 B A RAND. 

Of course, I regretted a thousand times that fate 
should have denied me the pleasure of restoring 
those bright eyes to their native sun, and could not 
help inquiring, what had led them so far away from 
their destined orbit ? 

" Le circonstanze, signore? with a deep sigh : 
" but now I should like to go back." The deuce 
is in those " circonstanze ;" I never yet saw a 
pretty woman in a difficulty who did not accuse 
" le circonstanze " of the whole affair. 

Though it was one o'clock before we started, for- 
tune favoured us with very good horses, and we made 
forty miles before nine, which brought us to Ba- 
rand. There was not an elevation of two yards the 
whole distance, and the road, except during the last 
stage, was excellent; nor did we miss it then, for 
we drove without fear over the frozen snow, some- 
times following the track of former wheels, some- 
times the fancy of the peasant or his horses, but 
always at a capital pace. In no part of Hun- 
gary are the villages so large, the peasants so rich, 
and the horses, consequently, so fat and strong, as 
on the plains. 

Thefogado (inn) at Barand, was none of the best; 
the rooms were cold, there was nothing for supper, 
^and the landlady was ill in bed; nevertheless, we 
soon got the stove heated, a good dish of paprika 
\Jiendel before us, and enjoyed a night of most 
luxurious sleep. I do not think I have yet en- 
lightened the reader as to the mystery of a paprika 


hendel; to forget it, would be a depth of ingra- 
titude of which, I trust, I shall never be guilty. 
Well, then, reader, if ever you travel in Hungary, 
and want a dinner or supper quickly, never mind 
the variety of dishes your host names, but fix at 
once on paprika hendel. Two minutes afterwards, 
you will hear signs of a revolution in the basse cour ; 
the cocks and hens are in alarm ; one or two of 
the largest, and probably oldest members of their 
unfortunate little community, are seized, their necks 
wrung, and, while yet fluttering, immersed in boil- 
ing water. Their coats and skins come off at once ; 
a few unmentionable preparatory operations are 
rapidly despatched probably under the traveller's 
immediate observation the wretches are cut into 
pieces, thrown into a pot, with water, butter, flour, 
cream, and an inordinate quantity of red pepper, 
or paprika, and very shortly after, a number of bits 
of fowl are seen swimming in a dish of hot greasy 
gravy, quite delightful to think of. I have not yet 
f quite made up my mind, whether this or the gulyds- 
hus another national dish, made of bits of beef 
stewed in red pepper is the best ; and I therefore 
recommend all travellers to try them both. These 
hot dishes suit the Hungarian : red pepper, the growth 
of Hungary, he considers peculiarly national : and, 
\ excepting ourselves, I believe he is the only Euro- 
mean sufficiently civilized to know the full value of 
that most indispensable article of culinary luxury. 
Our first post next morning, still over the sea- 


like snow-coyeredplain, brought us to Kardszag, 
a large and prosperous village of eleven thousand 
inhabitants. I call it a village, for though I be- 
lieve it enjoys the privileges of a market town, its 
cottages built of mud, perhaps shaped into squares 
and dried in the sun, its roofs of reeds, its wide 
unpaved sandy roads rather than streets, and its 
respectable peasant-looking inhabitants, render it 
almost a perversion of language to call it a town. 
/^"It was Sunday, and church (for they are mostly 
Protestants on the plains) was just over; a number 
of men, among the best-built andjnostjbandsome qf^ 
anjpart of Europe, were standing round the Town- 
)iQuse_after morning service, while several troops of 
f cjiihlren j j3ajcl^^ 

returning from school. / It was pleasant to see the 
little fellows, so smart and comfortable did they look 
in their red Hessian boots, wide white trousers, and 
lambskin coats or cloaks, which quite enveloped 
them, and rendered them not unlike the little 
animals whose robbed fleeces they wore. 

We were so struck with the easy look of the 
people, and the neatness and apparent comfort of 
jthe cottages, that we asked who was the owner 
of the place ? One of them, politely baring his fine 
head of long black hair, fastened up with a comb, 
told us, they served no one^buJL their_kin^ : they 
[were^ Cumaaiajis. In different parts of Hungary 
there are certain districts, of considerable extent, 
enjoying immunities and privileges which place 


them in a very different position from the rest of 
the country. Among these, the most important are 
Great Cumania, of which Kardszag is the principal 
place ; Little Cumania ; the land of the Jazygers ; 
and the Haiduk towns ; all forming portions of the 
great plain. 

The inhabitants of the first three of these districts 
seem to have a common origin, though the dates 
of their settlement, those now called Jazygers, 
under Ladislaus the First, in 1090 ; the Great and 
Little Cumanians, severally, under Stephan the 
Second, in 1122, and Bela the Fourth in 1138, 
are sufficiently distant. Hungarian historians are 
still in doubt as to the precise country formerly 
occupied by these people, and even as to their 
original language. There can scarcely, however, be 
a question that they have sprung from the same 
eastern stem from which the Magyars themselves f 
branched off, and that their language was essentially / 
the same. At the present day, in no part of 
Hungary are the language, manners, and feelings 
of the people more truly Magyar than among the 

In all these districts, the peasant is himself lord 
of the soil, and owns the land ; he is, therefore, free 
from the annoyances of personal service, and is in 
the enjoyment of the innumerable advantages of 
propriety. His deputies sit in the Diet. It is true, 
that in return for this, he bears more than an equal 
portion of the burthens of the state. With the 


noble, he is bound to do military service when 
called on, and to contribute a part in the extra- 
ordinary subsidies occasionally granted by the Diet, 
while with the peasant, he pays an equal portion 
of the heavy Government taxes. Notwithstanding 
these severe drawbacks, he is undoubtedly the most 
prosperous and happy of the Hungarian peasants, 
a sure proof, and would that legislators knew it, 
that it is less the amount, than the manner of 
taxation, in which its real oppression consists. 

From Szolnok, where we passed the third night, 
we had still a long day's journey, of at least sixty 
miles to perform. The first stage to Abany has the 
reputation of being the very worst road in Hungary, 
and to those who know what Hungarian roads are, 
such a reputation is not without its terrors. A 
gentleman, whom I can well believe, assured me 
that he had occupied sixteen hours in travelling 
over these ten miles in a light carriage drawn by 
twelve oxen. The soil is a rich, black, boggy loam, 
and the road consists of about thirty yards' width 
of this substance, separated from the ploughed land, 
on each side, by deep ditches, to prevent the tra- 
veller driving over the furrows, which he would 
certainly prefer as the better road of the two. 
The inhabitants always urge as an apology, that 
there is no stone except at an immense distance, 
and this is true ; yet I think in some other coun- 
tries, and even here with more just laws, the basalt 
of Tokay would have found its way down the Theiss 


to their assistance ; but as long as the whole bur- 
then of making roads rests on the shoulders of the 
unfortunate peasants, the proud noble must be con- 
tent to stick in the inud. We were fortunately 
favoured by the frost, and got over it in four hours. 
We now approached the capital, and with the aid 
of six horses, a little extra borra valo to the Ms biro, 
to procure the horses quickly, and to the peasant 
to flog them unmercifully, we reached Pest by the 




A Ball. Ladies' Costume. Luxury and Barbarism. Univer- 
sity of Pest. Number of Schools. Austrian System of Edu- 
cation its Effects. Corruption of Justice. Delays of the 
Law. Literature. Mr. Kolcsey. Baron Josika. Arts and 
Artists. The Theatre. Magyar Language. Mr. Kb'rosi and 
his Expedition to Thibet. Trade Companies. Popular Jokes. 
Austria, Hungary, and Russia. Blunders of Mr. Quin and 
other English Writers on Hungary. The last Ball of the Car- 
nival. Tne Masquerade. The breaking up of the Ice. 

" WELCOME back to Pest, friends ! you are just 
come in time for all the gaiety." Such was the 
salutation of Count D as he met us on the first 

A BALL. 449 

morning of our return. " I have two balls for you 
to-night, and several others during the week. I 
know what you are going to say, that you are 
not acquainted with any of these philanthropic ball- 
givers; but I will arrange all that for you; I will 

write a note to the Baroness O to say I shall 

bring you to her house this evening, and I will 
there introduce you to everybody you ought to 
know, so that the whole affair will be settled as 
ceremoniously as even a ceremonious Englishman 
could wish !" Although we pleaded hard for a few 
days' rest, before launching on this sea of pleasure, 

D protested the carnival was too short for a 

wise man to lose a day of it, and therefore, we had 
nothing for it but to submit in peace. 

About nine the same evening we found ourselves 
ushered by an hussar, dressed in blue and silver, 
into a splendid ball-room, brilliant with light and 
beauty. Our reception was as kind as well-bred 
hospitality could make it, and on looking round we 
soon found a number of faces we had met before, 
and all ready to offer us a kind welcome back. 

And now I confess myself fairly puzzled. I sup- 
pose I ought to describe this ball, but what points 
am I to seize on, by which to distinguish it from a 
ball anywhere else? There is not a dress or a 
costume of any kind, that differs a particle from 
those of London or Paris; not a dance, save the 
waltz and quadrille ; not a gait or movement, that is 
not common to ladies and gentlemen of any other 


450 A BALL. 

country. There may be some of those fine shades 
of distinction which the delicate appreciation of a 
woman's mind might seize and work upon, but I 
must confess to my grosser apprehension, the cha- 
racteristics of good society vary so little in any 
part of Europe, that but for the furniture of the 
room, or the language spoken, I should scarcely 
know a ball in one great capital, from a ball in 
any other. An elegant suite of rooms, well lighted, 
a good band of musicians, a number of pretty girls 
and their mammas, with a proportionate quantity 
of men, free from the vulgarity of dandyism, and 
especially when the whole party is acquainted and 
all are perfectly at their ease, are always sufficient 
to compose a pleasant ball anywhere. On this 
occasion the presence of a reigning Prince gave the 
ladies an excuse for displaying their most brilliant 
parures of diamonds, and the heads of many of them 
literally blazed with jewellery. 

I am afraid the Hungarian ladies must plead 
guilty to a little more than common affection for 
these pretty baubles. Nor, indeed, can it be won- 
dered at, for their national costume is so co- 
vered with them, and they are allowed by all the 
world to look so lovely in it, that it is no wonder 
if they think the jewels have some influence in 
the matter. And this reminds me that I have not 
yet said a word about this costume, although to 
have omitted it would have brought on me a 
frown from every pair of bright eyes in Hungary. 


Let me premise, however, that this dress was not 
worn at the ball at the Baroness O 's, nor in- 
deed is it ever used, except at court or on public 
occasions, as the installation of a lord lieutenant or 
other great ceremony. 

The full dress of the Magyar nemes asszony, 
noble Hungarian lady, is composed of a tight 
bodice, laced across the breast with rows of 
pearls, a full-flowing skirt, with an ample train, a 
lace apron in front, and a long veil of the same 
material, hanging from the head to the ground 
behind. The dress is composed of some rich bro- 
cade, or heavy velvet stuff. The head, neck, arms, 
and waist, are commonly loaded with jewels, and 
the veil and apron are often richly embroidered, after 
the Turkish fashion, in gold. The only difference 
between the married and unmarried is, that the 
latter have no veil, and, instead of the small cap, 
from which the veil hangs, their hair is braided 
with pearls. 

But to return to the ball. I was rather amused 
with the tactics of the Hungarian ladies as I ob- 
served them this evening. I had heard that the 
tone of society in Pest was not so strict as it 
might be, but I protest it was not only quite as 
strict, but even a little more so than would have 
suited my taste. I could not see a symptom 
even of an innocent flirtation ! and I almost doubt 
if one could be carried on with any degree of 
satisfaction ; for it is the fashion for two ladies 

G G 2 

452 A BALL. 

to walk and sit together, so that go to whom you 
will, there is always a third person in the conver- 
sation ; and I refer to any man experienced in such 
matters, if it is possible to utter sweet nothings 
with due effect, except as the Germans say, unter 
vier Augen between four eyes. Nor is this cus- 
tom confined to the young ladies, the dowagers are 
equally cautious ; not one of them ventures into a 
ball-room without her friendly guardian. In some 
cases it was amusing enough to mark how know- 
ingly this choice had been made, how the beauty 
had chosen her contrast in the plain and humble 
how the friend of the pretending was the modest 
and unassuming. 

To us, as strangers, French was the language in 
which we were commonly addressed, but amongst 
themselves German was universally used. Some of 
the younger members of the party spoke English 
fluently, and one of the little children of the house, 
only four years old, seemed as well master of it as 
we were. I am afraid it would not be saying much 
for the conversation, if I pronounced it as good as is 
met with in drawing-rooms elsewhere ; but in truth, 
where dancing is so serious a business as here, there 
is but little time for talking. 

The suite of rooms thrown open was handsome 
and well adapted to the purposes of a ball. The 
first room was filled with dancers, who slid over 
the well-polished floors to Strauss' quickest airs; 
the second, a large drawing-room, was covered 


with ottomans, lounging chairs, and all the other 
necessary nothings which make up drawing-room fur- 
niture, while the walls were hung with good speci- 
mens of English and French engravings; the third 
room was half boudoir, half study, and its tables 
groaned beneath the weight, if weight they can be 
said to have, of heaps of annuals and books of 
beauty; while the last of the suite was very taste- 
fully disposed as a refreshment-room. The dancing 
was kept up with great spirit -till about twelve 
o'clock, when a second suite of rooms on the other 
side of the ball-room was opened, and a supper 
was laid out to which ample justice was done. 
Supper over, and the champagne seemed to have 
lent new wings to the dance ; for when we left at 
two, there were then no symptoms of the party's 
breaking up. 

Now in all this I can see very little that is re- 
markable, albeit much that is agreeable ; and there- 
fore, with a hint that such things were going on 
most days of the week, and that we were fortunate 
enough to be at once admitted into the midst of 
them, I shall leave them for a while and pass on to 
other matters. The contrast, however, so rapidly 
brought before us of the snow-covered Puszta and 
its skin-clad peasants, with the luxurious capital 
and its elegant crowds, did strike us most forcibly 
at this ball. There are few places where the real 
contrast between excessive luxury and abject 
misery is so great as in London, but its outward 


appearance is still greater here. When we looked 
at the delicate women who filled the salons of the 
Baroness O , and thought of the roads they tra- 
velled over, the inns they sometimes slept in, and the 
rude, savage peasantry by whom they were often 
surrounded, it seemed as if there must be two indi- 
viduals to occupy such different positions. 

Pest has a university, founded as far back as 
1635, and enriched by Maria Theresa, Joseph the 
Second, and Francis, with gifts of large estates, so 
that its annual revenue amounts to thirty-four thou- 
sand pounds. It boasts, at the present time, one 
hundred and four professors, tutors, and others, 
and one thousand students. There are libraries, 
museums, and all the other essentials to a learned 
institution. Of the professors, there are nine 
theological, six juridical, thirteen medical, fourteen 
philosophical, and one each for the Hungarian, 
German, French, and Italian languages. The most 
eminent of these is Professor Schedius, the editor 
of a splendid new map of Hungary, still in pro- 
gress, whose name is never mentioned without ex- 
pressions of admiration and respect. 

I have incidentally spoken of schools, and educa- 
tion in several parts of these volumes, but the sub- 
ject is so important that I trust I shall be excused 
if I resume as shortly as possible the statistics * of 
education in Hungary, that we may see how far the 

* For most of these details I am indebted to the often-quoted 
work, the " Gemalde of Csaplovics." 


effects, as we have observed them, answer to what 
might be expected from them. 

It was in the reign of Maria Theresa, that a ge- 
neral attempt was first made to extend education 
into every town and village of Hungary. As early 
as 1500, the Protestants had made great progress in 
educating the poor of their own church, but during 
the many persecutions to which they had been sub- 
ject, their schools were destroyed, and the funds con- 
verted to other purposes, so that the Hungarians, 
as a nation, may be said to have been previously 
without education. The system of Maria Theresa 
was followed up by Joseph, who, under the name of 
mixed schools, brought all sects and religions toge- 
ther under the same masters. This was in itself 
sufficient to excite the opposition of the Hungarians, 
bigoted and intolerant as they then were ; but even 
had this difficulty been got over, the mixed schools 
were condemned to popular hatred by being made 
the medium for the introduction of the German lan- 
guage, and the consequent destruction of Hungarian 
nationality. After the death of Joseph, the mixed 
schools, except in some few places, were given up, 
and each religion was left to educate its own mem- 
bers after its own fancy, the Catholic, however, 
alone receiving aid and encouragement from Go- 

At the present time there is scarcely a village in 
Hungary without one or more schools. Where the 
inhabitants are all of one religion, there are no 


difficulties to be overcome. Where differences exist, 
if the separate creeds are too poor to maintain a 
school each, the poorer attend that of the more 
powerful, which is commonly Catholic ; the Pro- 
testant children, however, not being forced to take 
a part in the religious instruction, which is left to 
the priest, or, still more commonly, to his capellan or 
clerk. The education extends to reading, writing, 
arithmetic, catechism, Klugheits Regeln, or moral 
maxims, and sometimes a little geography, history, 
and Latin Grammar. These schools are maintained, 
and the masters chosen, by the peasants themselves, 
the landlord being obliged to give ground for a 
school-house, and thirty or forty acres of land for 
the use of the master. The payment is for the 
most part in kind and labour. There are normal 
schools in different parts of the country, for the 
education of masters for the national schools.** 

Besides these national schools, which may be said 
to be common to all religions, the Catholics have 
fifty-nine Gymnasia, and six Archigymnasia, in which 
the course of education lasts six years. These are 
chiefly under the direction of the Piarists and other 
religious orders. The easier Latin classics and 

* Within these last few years infant schools, on the model of 
those of England and France, have been instituted, chiefly through 
the zeal and perseverance of the Countess Theresa Brunswick. 
As yet, however, though they seem to have succeeded better than 
could have been expected, they are too recent, and in too small 
numbers, to have had so beneficial an influence as they seem well 
capable of exercising. 


other common branches of education are taught 
in those institutions. 

They have also six Philosophical schools, where 
Greek and mathematics are taught ; five academies, 
teaching physics, logic, metaphysics, and law ; and 
several seminaries for training up the priesthood, 
besides the University of Pest, of which we have 
already spoken. 

Of the Protestants, the Reformed have the most 
perfectly organized system of education. Besides 
the national schools they have many Latin schools 
for the peasantry, in which the course extends over 
four years ; they have gymnasia also, and three 
great colleges, viz. those of Debreczen, Saros Patak, 
and Papa. 

The chief school of the Lutherans is the Lyceum 
at Presburg, which possesses sixteen teachers ; be- 
sides which they have three similar institutions, 
and eleven gymnasia. 

The members of the Greek church are the worst 
provided of any with the means of education ; but 
they are said to be rapidly improving in this respect. 
In addition to the Lyceum of Karlowitz, they have 
four other institutions of the higher order, and 
between one and two thousand elementary schools. 

Now, with such machinery for educating, what is 
the state of knowledge in the country at large ? 
Is it greater or less than that found among the 
same classes of society in our own country, where the 
number of schools is much less ? I have no hesi- 


tation in saying that it is much lower. To the 
numerical philosophers those who calculate men's 
intelligence and morality as they would the distance 
of the stars, it may appear paradoxical that schools 
and education should not mean the same thing ; yet 
assuredly they do not. Education may be made the 
means of training to ignorance as well as to know- 
ledge ; and I know of no better exemplification of 
this fact than the system of instruction pursued by 

Without entering into the details of this sys- 
tem, let me give the reader the result of a thorough 
inquiry into it made by one of our countrymen liv- 
ing in Vienna. In answer to my question of what 
were the effects of the Austrian education, he 
answered, " In one word stultification." " If a 
student," he continued, " obtains a first class certifi- 
cate, you may be sure he is a fool ; if a second, 
he may be not more than ordinarily ignorant ; but 
if he get only the lowest, he runs a fair chance of 
being a clever fellow. The course of study is so 
laborious, and at the same time the books to be 
read, the comments to be listened to, and all things 
to be learnt, are so adapted to shut out every idea 
of what is great or good, or beautiful, that one 
who has followed out the system, is not only less 
wise than before, for what he has learnt ; but, from 
the time that has been occupied, it is impossible 
also that he should have devoted any attention to 
the acquisition of better things." 


Nor do others give a more favourable report. 
Even M. St. Marc Girardin, who appears rather 
as the advocate of the system, states that it is 
admirably contrived for preventing any develope- 
ment of the higher mental faculties. The Govern- 
ment, in its paternal solicitude, considers the higher 
branches of knowledge unfit for the tender minds of 
its children, as it might only lead them to plague 
their heads about matters which are better left to 
the direction of their superiors. It has accordingly 
endeavoured to direct all their energies to the 
cultivation of material knowledge ; and by con- 
centrating their whole force on that, to raise the 
country to a very high state of material develope- 
ment. Admitting, for a moment, that such an 
object is a wise and good one, how has it been 
answered ? Do we find the Austrian in agriculture, 
in trade, in commerce, in the fine arts, in science, 
or in any one thing save perhaps, fiddling and 
waltzing before the rest of Europe ? The Govern- 
ment has been foolish enough to believe that it 
could use the energies of the human mind as it 
would those of a steam-engine it has been ignorant 
of the well-known fact, that it is only in freedom 
that the mind can work out anything pre-eminently 
good, whether in the sciences, in literature, or in 
the mere mechanical arts. 

And yet there are many well-meaning people who 
recommend the Austrian system to the imitation 
of England ! No, God forbid we should imitate 


Austria ! I allow we are as badly off for education 
as a people can well be, but yet it is a thousand 
times better to remain as we are than to have a 
half-priest half-police directed system, which would 
impose such chains on our understandings, that 
through our whole lives we should never be able 
to break loose from them. The advocates of the 
Austrian system forget that there are other sources 
of knowledge besides books, other teachers amongst 
us than our pedagogues, and stronger stimulants 
to knowledge than even their well-soaked birch. 
It is scarcely possible to live in a populous country 
like England, with a free press, and a Protestant 
church, and remain very ignorant. Our ears, our 
eyes, our every sense conveys knowledge to the 
mind at every moment, from every object by which 
we are surrounded. Reading and writing are very 
useful as the keys to the door of knowledge; but 
if we are not allowed to use them when we have 
acquired them, we might really be as well without 
them. Now something of this Austrian system has 
been introduced into the schools of Hungary, par- 
ticularly among the Catholics. The press, too, is 
stifled by an Austrian censorship, and when to this 
is united the political condition in which the 
peasantry live, we shall scarcely be astonished that, 
though they all go to school, and though many of 
them can read and write in two or three languages, 
they are yet much more ignorant, than the English 
peasant who often cannot read or write his own. 


I know there are many of the Hungarians, and 
some of the wisest among them too, who do not 
desire that the education of the peasantry should 
proceed any further till they have been placed in 
a better position as to their civil rights. They fear 
lest the educated peasant should become aware of 
the rights he ought to have, before others have 
learnt that they ought to grant them to him, and 
that a revolution rather than a reform might be the 
consequence. This is a sort of double-edged argu- 
ment very dangerous to wield, for it may be applied 
with equal force the other way ; and in England we 
have too often heard of the folly of giving rights 
to men not educated to use them, to allow it any 
weight. I suspect there is much more danger, that 
unless the peasantry do demand their rights, and 
somewhat loudly too, they will never obtain them. 
I do not think there is an example in history of 
an oligarchy the very essence of which is self- 
ishness, having yielded up their own privileges, 
or restored to others their usurped rights, except 
when they have no longer dared to refuse them. 
That the Hungarians may form an exception a 
glorious exception, to such blind egoism is my 
most earnest wish ; but I would not on that account 
neglect the more certain means of accomplishing 
the end, should that wish remain unfulfilled. 

One of my greatest neglects on my former visit 
to Pest, had been to make some inquiries about the 
laws and lawyers here. I had no very favourable 


opinion of them ; for I recollected that some years 
before, when travelling in Austria, I happened to 
fall in with a very agreeable old gentleman, who 
proved to be a general in the Austrian service, and 
among other subjects our conversation turned on 
the advantages of the different forms of government 
in our two countries. In answer to my accusation, 
that the secrecy and espionnage of the Austrian 
Government encouraged corruption in its officers, 
and that even the administration of justice was open 
to bribery, he laughed outright at my simplicity, 
and assured me that the same things took place in 
England, and everywhere else. Although the gene- 
ral's remark did not convince me of the existence 
of this corruption in England, it taught me to 
what an extent it must have prevailed in his own 
country, before it could have destroyed in his 
mind all belief even in the purity of justice else- 
where. Bearing this occurrence in mind, I in- 
quired of some Hungarians the state of the supreme 
courts of justice in Hungary; for as they do 
not act during the sitting of the Diet, I had no 
opportunity of observing them myself. I am sorry 
to say, I found them but little better than those 
of Austria. One of my informants said they were 
not so bad, however, as they used to be ; " the 
judges don't like to take bribes openly now ! " 
The same gentleman mentioned an instance in 
which one of his own family had bought a judge, 
with the gift of an estate for the duration of his 


life. It is the custom for both plaintiffs and de- 
fendants to make private visits to the judges pre- 
viously to trial, in order to instruct them as to the 
nature of the causes, and we can all guess what 
arguments on such occasions would be likely to 
have the most weight. The two highest courts of 
justice are the Royal Table and Septem- Viral 
Table,* the members of both of which, at least the 
greater number, are appointed by the Crown. If 
I am not much mistaken, they are removable also 
at the will of the Crown. 

The reader may be surprised that I should have 
taken so much trouble in many parts of this work 
to point out the corruption which pervades every 
part of the Austrian administration in Hungary. I 
have not done so for my own pleasure. It is no 
delight to me to seek out the deformities of the 
social system, and to hold them up to public gaze ; 
but I have felt it in this case a duty to do so, for I 
believe it is on such facts that the character of a Go- 
vernment depends. I believe that no tyranny could 
exercise so demoralizing, so debasing an influence 

* The Royal Table is composed of the Personal (president also 
of the lower chamber of the Diet), two prelates, two barones 
tabulae, the vice-palatine, the vice-judex curisD, four prothonota- 
ries, the crown -fiscal and three royal, two archiepiscopal, and 
three supernumerary assessors. In mining causes, a mining 
assessor is added. 

The Septem-Viral (so called because originally composed of 
seven persons), is now formed of the Palatine as president, five of 
the higher clergy, ten magnates, and six gentlemen. 


on the human mind, as this corruption on the part 
of those whose station and power in society should 
fit them to be its guides to what is good and great. 
There is another circumstance connected with 
the administration of justice in Hungary, which 
is scarcely less grievous I mean its long delays. 
The evil is very great, when delay interferes with 
the settlement of civil causes ; but what shall we 
say of it when, as here, it prevails equally in crimi- 
nal cases. Mr. Hallam remarks somewhere, that 
there is a period in the history of nations, when 
the procrastination of the law, instead of an evil, 
is the only means afforded to the weak, to protect 
themselves against the power and violence of the 
strong. In some cases, this might appear, at first 
sight, the case in Hungary ; but it should not be 
forgotten, that an act of injustice, of which the 
execution is thus delayed, though it loses none of 
its bitterness to the victim, loses greatly in its effect 
on the public mind. The tyrant obtains his end, 
but the people are less shocked with the tyranny, 
because they have long contemplated its possibility. 
The most striking illustration of this delay which I 
ever remember to have seen, was at St. Benedek, 
in the valley of the Gran. About the gates of the 
castle, I observed a number of very old men in 
chains; and on inquiring how long ago, and for 
what crime these greybeards had been put in prison, 
I found they had been confined only a few months, 
though it was for having excited an insurrection of 


the peasants some fifty years ago that they had been 
condemned. The process had actually lasted fifty 
years, and these old men were now condemned to 
spend the remainder of their lives in prison, for a 
crime committed in their youth, and of which all 
recollection had passed away ! 

A dinner party, to which we were invited soon 
after our return, introduced us to two of the most 
distinguished among the modern literati of Hun- 
gary, Mr. Kb'lcsey and Baron Josika. 

Kb'lcsey has all that simplicity of manner about 
him which so often distinguishes true genius. His 
poetry is said to be characterised by vigour and 
originality. At the present moment, he is even 
more popular as a deputy and orator than as a poet. 
Of course, a poet must be a Liberal in a country 
where everything which can excite a poet's affec- 
tions or fancy is engaged in the cause of Libe- 
ralism ; and few have defended it with more 
eloquence or firmness than Kolcsey. 

Although Hungary has boasted poets, even from 
an early period of her history, of whose works con- 
siderable remains still exist; and although I feel 
sure, that among the people there is an abundant 
harvest of ancient lyrical and legendary lore still to 
be gathered, yet it was not till the close of the last, 
or the commencement of the present century, that 
Magyar poetry could be said to take a stand with 
that of the other European nations. During the 
last half of the past century, Faludi, Raday, Barc- 

VOL. n. H H 


sai, Rvai, and some others, prepared the taste for 
relishing Hungarian song, introduced into it a 
greater freedom, and showed the capability of the 
language for a higher strain than it had hitherto 
been esteemed fit for. But it was Joseph's violent 
attack on the very existence of the language, which 
awoke throughout the nation all its sympathy and 
love for it ; and the lyres of the Kisfaludis (Sandor 
and Karolyi), of a Kazinczi, a Berzsenyi, a Kolcsey, 
a Vorosmarty, and a host of minor luminaries, 
responded to the sentiment. Hungarians speak of 
Kisfaludi Sandor, with a degree of enthusiasm that 
shows that he has not only been able to please the 
imagination, but has known the secret of touching 
a nation's heart. Vorosmarty and Kolcsey are still 
living : long may they remain to adorn and elevate 
the much-loved language of their father-land ! 

While poetry had been making these rapid ad- 
vances, it was not to be expected that the influence 
of the rest of Europe in the cultivation of prose 
romance, should be entirely lost on Hungary. Se- 
veral novelists and romance writers have arisen, 
some of whose works may fairly pretend to more 
than a temporary existence ; but it is admitted, that 
Baron Josika Miklos has fairly outstripped all his 
rivals in this contest. His first work * was " Abafi," 

* A German translation of Josika's works, (1839), now lies 
before me, in eight vols. 12mo. It consists of "Abafi;" "The 
LastB&thori;" "The Fickle;" " Decebalus ;" "The True Un- 
true;" "The Suttee." 


a page from the history of Transylvania, under her 
native princes. The time chosen is the reign of 
the weak and vacillating Bathori Zsigmund. In 
addition to considerable power in the delineation 
of character and the illustration of a high moral prin- 
ciple, which Baron Josika always proposes to him- 
self in the plot of his novels, Abafi contains some 
delightful sketches of the past. The wild romantic 
life of the border robber stands in bold contrast 
with the quiet and domestic scenes of the interior 
of a noble and virtuous household. Old Klausen- 
burg, too, is brought back in lively colours before us, 
as history and its present remains assure us it was 
at that period. "The last Bathori" is another 
historical romance, which takes Bathori Gabor, 
Prince of Transylvania, for its hero. The picture 
of manners during a period (1608 to 1613) of almost 
constant intestine war, aggravated in some instances 
by hatred of race, is drawn with vivid colouring. 
The domestic virtues of the Saxons, among whom 
a great part of the events take place ; their firm 
adherence to their rights, and their brave opposi- 
tion to the tyranny of the Transylvanian princes ; the 
cruel and insulting persecution to which they were 
subjected, and the lawless violence which was em- 
ployed against them when there was no longer need 
of their arms, or purses, are admirably brought into 
play. Nor, to those who know the country, is it 
less gratifying to perceive the sentiments of kind- 
liness which have animated an Hungarian writer on 

H H 2 


a subject in which Hungarian prejudices are sin- 
gularly strong and susceptible. Of the other works 
of Baron Josika, I need not speak, as they want 
the charm of nationality, and that impress of truth 
and reality, which can alone convey an interest 
and sympathy to others. From this censure, how- 
ever, I must exempt " The True Untrue," were it 
only for the excellent sketch it contains of the 
feelings and opinions of the gentry of the old school 
in the person of a county magistrate. 

In the fine arts Hungary has made but little 
progress. Even in the most wealthy houses paint- 
ings are very rare. I believe the only painter born 
in Hungary, whose name is at all known to history, 
is Gottfried Mind, called the Cats' Raphael, from 
his admirable knowledge and delineation of his 
favourites, the cats. The only living painter of 
any eminence is Marko, now in Rome, whose beau- 
tiful landscapes and classical figures are well known 
and highly esteemed. In sculpture, I have seen 
one or two pieces of Ferenczi, which, though not 
without merit, are far below the estimation in 
which they are held here. The most extraordinary 
work of art I have seen in Hungary, is an alto- 
relievo in copper, which we were shown while yet 
in progress. The artist, Szentpeteri, is a poor sil- 
versmith, who after a few essays of little impor- 
tance, has undertaken to copy Le Brun's picture 4 
of the battle of Arbela, from an engraving in alto- 
relievo on copper. The work was about three parts 


finished, and showed, not only wonderful industry 
and perseverance, but a degree of talent and taste 
from which great things might have been produced 
under proper cultivation. The figures are hammered 
out from the inside when the metal is so hot as to 
be easily malleable.* The artist is an exceedingly 
simple unpretending person, whose whole soul seems 
wrapped up in his work. 

In music, Liszt and Mademoiselle linger place 
Hungary in more than a respectable position ; but 
they, as well as Marko and Szentpeteri, are obliged 
to seek in other climes for encouragement and pa- 

The theatre for the performance of German 
pieces here, is almost as large as the great theatres 
of Paris or London ; but it is a gloomy looking 
place and badly adapted for the transmission of 
sound. The ordinary company is a pretty good one, 
and most of the great actors who come to Vienna 
pay a visit to Pest before their return, so that it is 
by no means ill supplied. Since we have been 
here, we have had Madame Schroeder Devrient and 
an opera company, and still later, Anchiitz, the 
tragic actor from Vienna. Even our own best 
tragedians might take lessons from Anchiitz in 
the representation of their own Shakspearean cha- 

There is an Hungarian theatre in Buda which I 

* This work was exhibited in London in 1838, but did not 
excite so much attention as it merited. 


have not seen, and a new theatre is erecting in Pest, 
which is to be devoted entirely to Hungarian 
pieces. The establishment of this theatre is looked 
forward to with the greatest interest, as an object 
of national importance, from the influence it is cal- 
culated to exert in the diffusion and cultivation 
of the language. 

It would not be right to quit this subject without 
saying a few words relative to this same Magyar 
language, to which such frequent allusion has been 
made ; and although I do not think my half-dozen 
lessons in Hungarian give me the right to speak 
on the matter ex cathedra albeit, many travellers 
do so with still less I may venture a remark on 
two or three grammatical peculiarities, which ap- 
pear to me the most interesting. I have before ob- 
served that in proper names the surname precedes 
the Christian name as that of the genus the 
species in natural history and the same rule 
prevails with some titles. In the use of pro- 
nouns, it is singular that they are made to follow 
instead of precede the noun, and are affixed to it ; 
Kalap, a hat, Kalap-am, my hat. Both these pe- 
culiarities are, I believe, common to the Turkish 
language also. In like manner, the prepositions 
are made Compositions ; Kalap-am-ba, in my hat. 
In consequence of this joining together of words^ 
the Hungarians can construct a whole sentence 
in a single word, and the following is often given 
as an illustration ; not that such a word would be 


used in conversation, but as a proof of how far it 
may be carried ; Ha meg Ko-pe-nye-ge-sit-te-len-nit~ 
teh-het-ne-lek If I could deprive you of your clothes. 
In the construction of verbs, there is a difference 
from those of other European languages, which ren- 
ders a true knowledge of Hungarian exceedingly 
difficult to the foreigner. This is the existence of 
a determinate and indeterminate form of every 
tense and mood. It is easy enough to understand 
the principle of it, but exceedingly difficult to 
apply it correctly. Ldtok, I see, is in the inde- 
terminate form ; Idtom, I see it, in the determi- 
nate. In the same way Idtott & goz-hajot did 
you see a steam-boat? is indeterminate, Idtta e 
a goz-hajot did. you see the steam-boat? deter- 

That the Magyars should think the Magyar 
tongue the sweetest, the strongest, the fullest, the 
best, that they should imagine that poetry can 
never flow so smoothly, or eloquence speak with such 
energy as in the Magyar nyelv, is quite natural ; 
for no one can feel all the beauties of a language 
which has not been familiar to his childhood ; but 
they must not be astonished if a stranger, who has 
only got into his grammar, does not quite agree 
\ with them. That the Magyar is forcible aud ener- 
i getic, I believe ; for it partakes in that of the cha- 
racter of the people. Its sharp and accentuated 
syllables give it a character of distinctness and 
precision, and its accurate division into long and 


short vowels may confer on it a certain facility 
for versification ; but as for its soft and musical 
qualities, I must confess I could never discover 
them. The Hungarian ladies say it is the best 
language in the world for love-making: I can 
only answer, tant pire pour nous autres Grangers. 

And d propos of the language, before I entirely 
quit the subject, let me record one of the most 
single-minded and enthusiastic adventures I ever 
heard of, and which is intimately connected with it. 
Nothing puzzles Hungarian historians more than 
the question as to where the Magyars came from. 
One traces an analogy between the Magyar lan- 
guage and the Finnish; another makes the Magyars 
Turks ; others trace them to the mountains of Cir- 
cassia, and some again throw them back to the 
wall of China. The assistance which language 
might afford in this investigation has not been neg- 
lected, but hitherto nothing very satisfactory has 
been made out. The common opinion, however, is 
in favour of Thibet as the place of their origin, and 
the Caucasus is supposed to have been a resting- 
place in the course of their western emigration. 
It was in 1819, that this subject took such strong 
hold of the mind of a poor Szekler student of the 
name of Kb'rb'si, that he determined, after finishing 
his studies, to make a journey into these countries 
to try if he could not solve this great national ques- 
tion. Though noble, Kb'rosi had no fortune what- 
soever, and he consequently knew that he should 

MR. KOROSI. 473 

have to endure all the additional hardships which 
the greatest poverty could place in the way of a 
difficult undertaking. To prepare himself to en- 
counter them, for six months previous to setting 
out, he subjected himself to the most severe exer- 
cise, literally living on bread and water, and sleep- 
ing on the hard ground. As he was starting on his 
expedition, he happened to pass through the village 
of a gentleman with whom I am acquainted, and 
who met him and invited him to stay and dine with 
him. " Impossible," said the single-minded student; 
" I am going to Thibet, the way is long, and I must 
not tarry on the road, or my life may be too short 
to accomplish it." 

In 1820, Kbrbsi had reached Teheran, having 
passed through Circassia without having obtained 
any solution to the question, and from thence he 
pushed on to Thibet, where he was heard of in 
1822. When in Constantinople, in 1836, a gentle- 
man who had travelled much in the East, told me 
that he had seen Korb'si only the year before in 
Calcutta ; that he had then rooms and everything 
necessary furnished by the East India Company, 
and that he was actively occupied in compiling 
lexicons of one or two Thibet languages, of the 
existence even of which no one had been previously 
aware. Of the great question, the original seat 
of the Magyars, this gentleman said he believed 
that Korosi had not arrived at any satisfactory 
conclusion. The East India Company had been de- 


sirous to engage him in their service at a hand- 
some salary, but he had declined it as of no use 
to him. 

Among other matters which gave life to the 
winter in Pest, was the occurrence of a little revo- 
lution among the cobblers. The trades in Hungary 
are still, in all the towns, under the control of Com- 
panies or Corporations, as they formerly were with 
us. The consequence is, of course, as in all other 
close bodies, a great oppression of the weaker mem- 
bers, and it appeared, in the present case, that the 
master shoemakers had been so hard upon their 
workmen that the latter had turned out and com- 
mitted some slight excesses before the biirger 
guard a sort of "train-band knights," could re- 
duce them to order. All who would not consent 
to return to their work, were very unceremoni- 
ously presented with passports and " recommended 
to travel." 

No one, I believe, who knows anything about the 
matter, believes that these companies are now of 
any use whatever they may have been in former 
times save to enrich a few bad workmen at the 
expense of the community at large ; but they have 
managed to turn them to account in Hungary, in 
a manner I never heard of before. In cases of 
fire, every company is obliged to attend and give 
assistance, and to each is assigned a particular 
duty ; to the masons, for instance, the climbing the 
roofs ; and even the surgeons are obliged to be in 


readiness to relieve those who may have received 

I believe some little knowledge of national cha- 
racter may be obtained from common interna- 
tional jokes and stories, and I may therefore 
give the reader one or two about the Hungarians, 
current among the Viennese. Whether I have 
read these or heard them, I really forget ; but as I 
find them in my note-book, I must give them, 
although they may be quotations from an Austrian 
Joe Miller. 

Once upon a time, the manager of an Hunga- 
rian theatre produced what he considered a very 
fine piece of scenery, in which was represented a 
full moon, in the form of a round, fat, clean-shaved 
face, which might have suited a Dutch cherub. 
Instead of the anticipated applause, the luckless 
manager found his scene received with damning 
hisses ; and it appeared that the popular indignation 
was more particularly directed against the "pale- 
faced moon," " the German moon," as they called it. 
Now as the Hungarians like their moon, as well as 
everything else, to be quite national, the manager 
determined to please them, and next night up rose 
the poor moon with as glorious a pair of mustaches 
as the fiercest Magyar amongst them could exhibit. 
Hurrahs burst from every mouth at sight of this 
reform, and all cried, " Long live our own true 
Magyar moon, and confusion to all German moons 
for ever ! " The moon had evidently been brought 


up at court, and had learnt the value of popular 
prejudices to those who know how to use them 
against those who hold them. 

Another tale against the poor Hungarians had 
its origin in the hatred they bear to the knee- 
breeches of the Germans. One of the Hungarian 
regiments, quartered during summer in the burning 
plains of Lombardy, was ordered by the colonel to 
parade in white trousers, which had just been given 
out, instead of the thick blue tights they had pre- 
viously worn. The officers, however, found it no 
easy matter to induce compliance, and one excuse 
or another was always found for delay, till at 
last the colonel issued a second order, peremptorily 
fixing a day for the change, and threatening 
severe punishment for disobedience. It could no 
longer be put off, and the men accordingly paraded 
in whites; but determined not to be made com- 
fortable in anybody's way but their own, they all 
wore their thick blues underneath. 

Young Baron entered our room one morn- 
ing evidently much excited, and as he concluded a 
detail of some new trick the Government had just 
played the Diet, he exclaimed, " It is time such 
treachery were ended ; we shall never have any 
good as long as we remain attached to Austria, I 
say national independence, and if any man will 
raise the banner, I will follow it. Happen what 
may, we cannot be worse off than we are." 

" Quietly, friend," interrupted an older gentleman, 


who happened to be present ; " you do not mean 
what you say, and if you did, it would be sheer 
nonsense. The Austrian Government is not ill- 
intentioned, but it is stupid. It is false and 
treacherous, I allow, but rather from cowardice 
than malice; and such speeches as that you have 
just made, do therefore a great deal of mischief. 
Recollect that it is only a few months since the 
Government committed a gross act of cruelty and 
injustice in throwing into prison, without any trial, a 
number of young men, because in a debating society 
at Presburg, they had entertained this very subject 
of national independence ; and, where, to make the 
matter more ridiculous, they had quarrelled as to 
whether Szchenyi or Wesselenyi should be the king 
of their new Utopia. A Government so weak 
as to be frightened out of its senses, and led into 
acts of the grossest barbarity about so silly an affair 
as this, should be treated only like a child, and 
not terrified by bugbears which have no reality. 
But, if you speak seriously of such a matter, there 
are one or two points it would be well for you 
to think over first. You should recollect that 
Hungary is surrounded by Austria, Russia, and 
Turkey, none of them countries from which the 
advocates of freedom could expect much sym- 
pathy or assistance. And then," continued the 
old gentleman, as the Baron was about to inter- 
rupt him, " the very nature of the country is such 
as to render its occupation by an insurgent army 


almost impossible. Full half of Hungary, and that 
the most fruitful half, is an open plain, on which 
ten thousand regular troops would be able to dis- 
sipate all the untrained masses you could bring 
against them. The mountains you might perhaps 
hold, but your enemies need only leave you there 
till hunger produced discontent, and discontent trea- 
chery, to enable them to secure a bloodless victory." 

"As for Russia!" answered the Baron, "she has 
quite enough to do to check liberalism at home, 
without interfering with it in Hungary. She could 
exercise no power here." 

" I think you conclude too hastily," I observed, 
" you know well enough you are divided into se- 
veral races, and several religions. You know 
that Russia is constantly at work to undermine 
the fidelity of the Sclavish and Wallack portion of 
your population. Of the ten millions of which you 
consist, no less than four and a half are Sclaves." 

" Yes, but allowing your calculation, though I 
think you overrate it, you must acknowledge that 
the Sclaves are divided into Sclavacks, Rusniacks, 
Croatians, and Sclavonians, and that they hate one 
another quite as cordially as they hate the Magyars, 
and Russia more than all." 

"Skilful intrigue might still do much mischief, 
and Russia would be likely enough in secret to 
promise you all kinds of aid, till she had succeeded 
in disorganizing the country to such an extent 
that it could never more stand betwixt her and 


the objects of her ambition. Fortunately the 
northern Sclaves are chiefly Catholic, and therefore 
free from Russian influence on the score of religion ; 
but race and language are strong bonds of union, 
and if to these be added the dazzle of conquest, 
and the glory of belonging to a powerful people, 
they are not to be despised. Nor are the Wai- 
lacks, especially if those of Transylvania be taken 
into the account, a less important element in cal- 
culating the weakness of the position you would 
assume. Their attachment to the Emperor of 
Russia, as the head of the Russo-Greek church, is 
beyond question. I know some of the bolder 
spirits have calculated, that, if driven by Austria 
to the madness of revolt, all these interests might 
be conciliated, by at once declaring the whole body 
of peasantry free from seigneurial jurisdiction, and 
confirming to them the possession of their land 
without labour or rent. Such, however, are dan- 
gerous expedients, and would scarcely turn to the 
profit of any." 

" There are certainly difficulties in the way, and 
serious ones, I allow, but men forget these when 
driven to madness as we are. If Austria does not 
change her policy she must be content to see 
Hungary right herself before long." 

"You exaggerate, dear Baron," again urged our 
friend; "things are not quite so bad as you re- 
present them; and as to what fate may have in 
store for our fatherland in the distant future, we 


cannot now tell; but as matters stand at present, 
the advocate of civil war in Hungary must be little 
less than a madman. The day may come when, by 
the combinations of European policy, the empire 
of Austria shall be dismembered, or rather fall to 
pieces of itself, and Hungary, strong and united, be 
able to offer to its king a throne more glorious 
than that he filled as Emperor of Austria ; but in 
the mean time, let us content ourselves with those 
blessings which our present position offers us, and 
direct our whole efforts to improve our institutions, 
and render them such as the spirit of the present 
age requires." 

As the common dinner hour at Pest is two or 
three o'clock, the time for making calls is between 
six and eight. On these occasions, it is the custom 
to dress almost as for an evening party ; the ladies 
in caps and low dresses, the gentlemen in silks and 
shoes. On paying a visit of this kind at the house 
of Madame F , I by chance interrupted a con- 
versation on a little matter of scandal which had 
just occurred at Milan, between a certain prince 
and his lady. On being informed of the nature of it, 
and on expressing my wonder that I had not heard 
of it before, one of the ladies, a desperate politician 
and a stanch Austrian, exclaimed, " No, no ! we 
don't publish such matters in our newspapers, as you 
do !" and with that she commenced a general attack 
on England and the English, from which I was 
evidently expected to defend them. The abuse of 


the press was the more immediate object of her de- 
nunciation ; and very justly did she declaim against 
the immorality of certain disclosures in a celebrated 
crim. con. case, which had then just astonished 
the continental public. Our libels too were not 
more tenderly handled. " Nay," she continued, 
"not content with libelling one another, you must 
come here and libel us. A book, I see, has just 
been published in England, in which all the ladies 
of Hungary are spoken of as ignorant and unedu- 
cated !" Of course, I had not a word to say then 
in my defence, but I think I have a fair right now 
to revenge myself on Mr. Quin for getting me into 
such a scrape. 

Many, I dare say, remember a very agreeably 
written book, called, "A Steam-boat voyage down 
the Danube," that is, from Pest to below Orsova, 
and occupying about ten days, during which time 
the author thinks he has collected information about 
Hungary which entitles him to pronounce opinions 
on all sorts of matters, and amongst others, on the 
education of Hungarian ladies. 

On the authority of his not understanding the 
language in which some young ladies on board the 
steamer conversed, he affirms not only that they 
spoke no other language than Hungarian, but that 
such was generally the case. Now it is a fact, how- 
ever little it may be known to Mr. Quin, that the 
education of Hungarian ladies, as far as languages 
are concerned, is very much more advanced than 



that of English or French ladies ay, or gentlemen 
either of the same rank. I have passed a consi- 

Iderable time in the country, and have had the 
opportunity of making the acquaintance of many 
Hungarian ladies, and I do not know one who speaks 
only Hungarian, though I do know several who do 
not speak that language. It is accounted one of the 
great misfortunes of Hungary, that, instead of Hun- 
garian, German is the common language used in most 
families ; and in the drawing-rooms of the capital, 
German, French, and even English, are more often 
heard than Hungarian. If it were not calling in 
question our author's erudition, to which he makes 
^ some pretension, I would wager that German, 
and not Hungarian, was the language which so 
terribly puzzled him. Let me assure Mr. Quin 
that all Hungarian ladies speak German, most of 
them French, many English and Italian, besides, 
what to Mr. Quin might appear barbarous tongues, 
such as the Magyar, Sclavackish, and Wallachian. 
And I may remark, en passant, that it must have been 
peculiarly difficult for the pretty Countess, who 
he says spoke neither French nor Italian, to have 
communicated with the French femme de chambre 
who accompanied her. And so having vented some 
of my spleen against Mr. Quin's negligence and 
want of gallantry, I shall let him off, at least for the 
present, without exposing any more of the many 
mischievous blunders with which his amusing book 


While I am speaking of travellers and their 
mistakes with respect to Hungary, it might be as 
well to correct a few others, but the task is so 
serious a one, that I dare only undertake it for one 
or two very recent and glaring instances. Most 
travellers proceed just as far as Vienna, wherethey 
hear all sorts of absurd tales of Hungary ; or if they 
go further, they run through the country so hastily, 
that they can take up only the most crude notions 
of its men and manners. 

, One* of these writers, in many respects very 
accurate and judicious in his remarks, fancies he saw 
troops of Hungarian peasants driven by their cruel 
lords from their homes to make room for hunting- 
parks or sheep-walks ! The author seems to have 
gotjnto Jiis head some confused idea made up from, 
the ancient history of the New Forest and the 
nioclern history of jjjsji_ejectments, and^ to have 
applied it to the landed gentry of Hungary- why 
/ or wherefore it is difficult to imagine. The herds 
| of peasants might have been Bohemians or Croats, 
\ probably on a pilgrimage, but were certainly not 
Ngungarians./ He does not probably know that 
the want of peasantry, not the superabundance, is 
the complaint in Hungary; that the Hungarian 
peasant possesses his land on a title which places 
it out of his landlord's power to dispossess him, 
and that were any such attempt made, the county 
and the Government would not allow it, because, 


Austria and the Austrians. 


. in losing the peasant they lose the taxes; nay, 

so strict is the law in this respect, that if a peasant 

quit his land voluntarily, his lord cannot occupy 

I it himself, but must place another peasant in it as 

\ soon as one offers. Besides, when the Hungarian 

) peasant leavesTns native village to seek a better 

settlement, it is always in his own country ; for he 

/ has a fixed idea that there is not enough to eat and 

^ drink anywhere else than in Hungary. Instead of 

forming hunting-parks, which would be of little 

use, where every Hungarian gentleman and every 

officer has the right to sport over at least one half 

of his neighbour's estates, most of the land-owners 

are clearing their ground, improving their agricul- 

ture, and thinking more of increasing their revenues 

than of extending their shooting-grounds. 

Another traveller* who enters Hungary but for 
a few hours, still finds something to say against it. 
|He invites himself to dine with a country gentle- 
man he has never seen in his life, does not find 
the dinner large enough for the accession his own 
party has made to the family, misunderstands the 
x' customs of the country, and finishes by casting a J 
jlur^m_thejip^^ nation / 

But this gentleman has strong political 

feelings not those of the most liberal tendency 
and he cannot pardon a people who talk about 
liberty and independence, although it is in opposi- 

tion to a country which he himself calls "a large 

- ~~ 
* Schloss Hainfeld, by Captain B. Hall. 


state prison," and a system of government which 
he characterises as encouraging whatever has a 
tendency to keep the human mind in a state of 
" uninvestigating ignorance." 

A more serious error, and one which I am sure 
the author would not have made intentionally, may 
be found in Mr. Gleig's recent work on Germany, 

Bohemia, and Hungary. Mr. Gleig observes, " In 
the rural districts every man you meet, provided he 
be neither a noble nor a soldier, belongs to some- 
body. He has no rights of his own ; he is a portion 
of another man's chattels ; he is bought and sold 
with the laud, as if he were a horse or an ox.' 
Now I have already said sufficient to show the 
reader that not one word of this statement is cor- 

rect. But I appeal to him if it is not painful to 
see a gentleman of Mr. Gleig's talent, take up, and 
give currency to so grave an erroiywhicli at once 
deprives a^ whole nation of any sympathy or respect 
from the whole of civilized Europe. Then comes 
the assertion that it is only within the last year that 
regular county magistrates have been appointed. I 
have no idea whence such a mistake could have Q 
arisen. The_county magistracy, ^^Ms^tjresent^ Q 
organized in Hungary, is one jrfjhe most ancient c 
institutions of Europe. VAR M EGYE 

The last ball of the Carnival is a very important 
affair here, and for a full week before its occurrence 
great was the diplomacy employed to arrange it. It 
is always expected to be the best of the season, and 


is quite sure to be kept up till late in the morning, 
so that it is apt to be rather expensive. Still no 
one dreamt for a moment of not having a ball ; the 
only question was, who was to give it ? The Coun- 
tess B declared that she should like to do so, 

but the Count protested she had given so many, 
that he could not afford any more. The Baroness 

W , who has such very nice rooms, was not well 

enough to bear the fatigue, and Mr. H , who 

was always ready to oblige, could not this year, on 
account of the recent death of a near relative. 
Happen, however, it must, and the very evening 
before it was to take place, it was announced with 
great joy, in the midst of a ball, that the good- 
natured Countess S had consented to take 

the charge on herself, and she at once asked every- 
body to come, and to tell those of their friends who 
were not then present to come also. 

It was then near midnight, and, as she told me 
afterwards, she immediately returned home, sum- 
moned her servants, informed them of what was to 
happen, and set them all to work, so that by neither 
going to bed herself, nor letting anybody else, before 
the next evening she had turned the house wrong 
side upwards, and fitted it for the reception of her 
crowd of guests. 

In the midst of the festivities of the evening, as 
I was quietly enjoying the scene, I could not help 
smiling at the conversation of some respectable 
dowagers near me, who lamented that, after all, the 


last balls were nothing now to what they used to be 
in thej_time_ when they continued till daylight, 
and when all the ladies and gentlemen, dressed as 
they were, walked in procession from the ball-room 
and began their Lent the moment 

they finished their Garni vajj^ 

I did not wait for the end of this ball, as I wished 
to see the masquerade at the Redout. The Redouten 
Saal is a large building on the quay, where the 
public balls are commonly held. The room is 
one of the jargest j_ever saw, and requires I know 
not how many thousand lights for its illumination. 
Though rather heavy, it is a beautiful piece of 
architecture, and does its designer great credit. 
Instead of the hundred or two well-dressed persons 
I had just left, I found several thousands collected 
here, and apparently of every rank, from the pretty 
milliner to the stately Countess. Although the 
higher classes can scarcely be said to share with 
the middle in their amusements, for they always 
hold themselves a little on the reserve, they are 
yet wise enough to attend their public festivities, 
and not the proudest lady would venture on these 
occasions to refuse the hand of the humblest 
apprentice boy in the dance if invited by him. This 
condescension on the part of the upper classes is 
most politic, as it tends strongly to remove from 
the lower the feelings of envy and hatred, which 
superior advantages are so apt to create. 

As a stranger, I had expected to escape without 


notice, and had not consequently masked : I was 
mistaken, however, for during the two or three 
hours I remained, I had scarcely a moment's rest. 
One mask or another was constantly seizing me by 
the arm, and squeaking into my ear a quantity of 
secrets (with which to the present time I cannot 
conceive how they became acquainted), and then 
leaving me just as my astonishment was excited to 

the highest pitch. AUSTRIAN BfAfr OF pfe 

i One of the best balls during the Carnival, was that 
given by the lawyers and law-studenlSa^jo which all 
I the nobles and citizens were invited. It is common 
I in Vienna to speak of the law-students, or rather 
(as those who have finished their studies 

are called)kas_a most rude and unruly set. They 
are the same persons whom we have seen at Pres- 
burg filling the floor of the Chamber of Deputies, 
and certainly exercising their lungs most freely 
in applauding or hissing whomsoever they pleased. 
But it is jinfajr^ to ^onsider^them rude^on that 
jjjCcount ; if they have a right to be there, they do 
not exercise their privilege one bit more rudely 
than the gentlemen of the House of Commons with 
[us ; and if they have not a right, why are they not 
kept silent ? That their presence is not only a great 
inconvenience but a direct interference with the 
liberty of debate, I am quite ready to allow, and 
I cannot understand why the Chamber does not 
pass a formal law to protect itself from such 
interference. While it is permitted, however, no 


one ought to complain that it is exercised. A 
great number of students were present, but instead 
of the rude conduct JJaad heard attributed to them, 
I ^bserved nothing but the greatest order and pro- 

priety. Nor, as I am speaking of balls, should I 
forget the very pleasant ones given by the Casino 
every year. In fact, there never was a place better 
provided with balls than this same Pest, and if a 
man has any fancy that way, he may dance every 
night from the beginning of the Carnival to the 

Der stoss ! Der stoss ! Such was the cry, 
following the report of a cannon, which we heard 
one morning through the hotel and in the streets. 
Hastening out to see what was the matter, we found 
the ice on the Danube had begun to move, and 
everybody had flocked down to the river to specu- 
late as to whether it would go off quietly, or whether 
there was any prospect of injury from it to the 
houses on the banks. This breaking up of the ice is 
a serious matter here. For months it has formed a 
road across the river, which becomes now no longer 
secure, and its great thickness and the quantity 
formed, render its removal a very long process, 
When pressed by a flood of water from above, the 
masses of ice often rise one upon the other, some- 
times to the height of a house, and by the obstruc- 
tion which they cause produce a flood. It is from 
this circumstance one of the greatest dangers is 
apprehended to the chain-bridge. What arches, it 

490 THE THAW. 

is asked, can withstand the force of such masses of 
ice with the weight of the whole Danube pressing 
upon them? Ice-breakers, however, set at some 
distance before the bridge, on which the vast masses 
might break themselves, it is considered would 
prove effectual preventives against such a danger. 
The use of cannon to break the ice too, has been 
suggested, but I should think the newly discovered 
plan of blasting under water by the aid of galvanism 
would be more likely to effect the object. 

A few days later I had a proof how great an 

inconvenience this stoss is. General L , the 

commander of the garrison of Buda, had issued invi- 
tations to all the beau monde of Buda, and Pest also, 
for a ball. Of course this could not be put off, but 
the difficulty was, how were the Pest people to 
get there. The ice was still on the move, that is, 
it made a progress of some yards every day ; it was 
already clear from the sides to the distance of 
twenty yards on each bank, and great spaces of 
many yards in extent were open. Most of the 
ladies gave up the ball rather than face the danger, 

but Madame W , declared, if any one would 

join her, she would go, were it only for the credit 
of the ladies of Pest. A party was soon made up, 
and of course the gentlemen had no excuse. How 
the ladies managed I cannot say, but for myself I 
was taken out of the carriage and carried through 
a heap of wet mud to a small boat which they 
pushed across to the ice. There a hand-sledge was 

THE THAW. 491 

in waiting, into which I got, and amidst a good 
number of crackings and roarings of the ice, I 
passed over in safety to where another boat con- 
veyed me to a second carriage on the Buda side. 
If I remember rightly, the ice took three weeks 
before it was all gone after the first stoss. During 
the whole, of that time, day and night, a watch 
was set who gave the alarm whenever it was in 
motion, and a gun was fired to warn the people 
to get off. 




Departure from Pest. Notary of Teteny. Volcanic District. 
Bakonyer Forest. Subri. Hungarian Robbers. Conscription 
Wine of Somlyo. Keszthely. Signs of Civilization. 
Costume of Nagy Knisa. The Drave. Death of Zriny. 
Croatia and Sclavonia. State of the Peasantry. Agram. 
Croatian Language. Public Feeling in Croatia. Smuggling. 
Karlstadt. Save and Kulpa. The Ludovica Road its 
Importance. Fiume. English Paper Mill. Commerce. 
Productions of Hungary. Demand for English Goods in Hun- 
gary. Causes which impede Commerce, and the means of their 

SOON after the frost bad disappeared, and before 
the ice had fairly cleared away from the Danube, 
we heard that a new steam-boat was about to leave 
Trieste for Constantinople, touching at Corfu. Zante, 
and Athens in her way. As we had already seen 
so much of the Danube, and intended to return 
by it again through Wallachia to complete our 
tour in Transylvania, we determined to avail our- 
selves of this opportunity to visit Turkey. An- 
other inducement too, was the route we might take 
through Croatia and by Fiume to Trieste, which 
would show us another very important part of Hun- 
gary with which we were as yet unacquainted. 


Instead of starting early in the morning of the 
28th of February, as we had intended, we were 
delayed for some time by the ice. It had now 
become too rotten to be used as a bridge, and a 
ferry had been established wherever an open space 
was left ; but the ice was so constantly moving, 
that the ferry had frequently to be changed, and 
one of these changes detained us several hours. 
At last the ferry was declared open, the carriage 
embarked, and we had nothing to do but shake 
hands with our friends, and express a hearty wish 
that we might soon meet them again, and so we 
started on our way. 

Our first drive did not afford us a very favour- 
able prospect for the rest of the journey. It was a 
cold wet night, and the roads were so deep in mud, 
that it was as much as six good horses could do to 
drag us through it. Before we had got half over 
one station too, the iron-work supporting the dickey 
gave way, and we were obliged to fasten it up 
with ropes. Under these circumstances, we deter- 
mined to stop at the first village, Tetny, for the 
night, and as there was not a bedroom to be had 
in the inn, we gladly availed ourselves of the offer 
of the notary to sleep in his house. 

~ r f ^^ 

The notary was a very civil and obliging person, 
and from a couple of violins and a pianoforte which 
we found in the room, and from some music of Ros- 
sini's, which was lying about, I should judge a man 
of taste also. Hejwas master o the, parish-sch ool , 


and told us that all the children attended it very 
regularly. The peasants are Germans. He declined 
receiving_ajiythmg next morning for the hospitality 
he had offered us, but the " gude wife " was " mair 
canny," and allowed herself to be prevailed on. 
/ As we pursued this same route before, at least as 
far as Veszprim, when we visited Fiired, I need say 
nothing more in regard to it here, than that the car- 
riage broke down three or four times on the way, and 
caused as many disagreeable pauses before we could 
get it mended. Whether it was the severe frost 
which had affected the iron- work, or whether it 
was that the Vienna iron was itself bad, I cannot 
tell, but it is certain that the unusual straining 
caused by the state of the roads was too much for 
it, and great was our annoyance in consequence. 

Instead of turning off to Fiired, we now con- 
tinued along the high road which runs parallel with 
the Balaton, but at some distance from it, to Ta- 
polcza. For the greater part of the last stage we 
had been struck with a new appearance in the 
mountains, which seemed to rise alone, and in iso- 
lated masses from the plain. This, of course, led 
us to suppose them of volcanic origin, though they 
were too far off to enable us to make sure of the fact. 
Before long, however, we found the road itself had 
changed colour, and on looking more minutely, it 
turned out to be composed of volcanic tufa, instead 
of the new limestone we had seen before, and a 
little further on, we came to basalt itself, and thus 


the difficulty as to the appearance in these moun- 
tains was at once solved. As we proceeded, we 
noticed that some of the hills presented the ap- 
pearance of truncated cones, while others were 
quite conical, and on turning to our books after- 
wards, we found that we had fallen in with a well- 
known volcanic district, in which some of the 
mountains are said to have distinct craters. 

We had now entered the Bakonyer forest, a hilly 
tract of country, extending nearly from the Danube 
to Croatia, and covered with thick woods, afford- 
ing shelter to the bands of robbers by whom it 
is generally infested. I am not very credulous on 
the subject of robbers, but I do believe that this 
neighbourhood is rarely quite free from them, and 
I must confess I did not very much like the look 
of some half-score fellows who followed the carriage 
as we entered^ Tapolcza, inquiring very eagerly if 
we would not go on further that evening. On 
talking with the waiter at the inn, as to how far 
our suspicions might be well founded, he said he 
thought them groundless, though, on being pressed 
further, he allowed that only a day or two before, 
fourteen ofjjubrT-Sjnen had been seen in the village 
dressed as women, and he said that patrols were out 
through the whole country, for the purpose of arrest- 
ing them. Though we had been staying so long in 
Hungary, we had scarcely ever heard the name of 
^nhrLheforeqJjit^^wh ng ^ ter" tnr j pg we now appeared 
to have intruded. Since that time, however, Subri 

496 SUBRI. 

has obtained an European reputation, and his 
death has rendered him a worthy subject of popu- 
lar song. After having been watched for a long 
time by a body of troops quartered all through the 
country, he was at last betrayed while drinking 
with his men at a public-house. Before they were 
aware of it, a detachment of cavalry had surrounded 
them ; but they nevertheless made the attempt to 
escape to the woods by fighting their way despe- 
rately through the soldiers. Several, both of the 
robbers and soldiers fell, and the officer of the 
detachment had a very near escape. On approach- 
ing Subri, with the intent to seize and take him 
alive, the robber drew a pistol from his belt, and 
placed it close to the officer's head. Subri, however, 
had vowed that he would never be taken alive, and 
seeing that escape had become impossible, he de- 
liberately turned the pistol against himself and 
blew out his own brains. 

Many are the tales which have been told of this 
Subri, but they are too doubtful to be worth re- 
peating. Like most others of the great robbers of 
Hungary the Angyal Bandi, Zb'ld Marczi, and 
Becskereki Subri had many of those notions of 
wild justice, which render our own Robin HOJ& 
so dear to the recollections of the people. To rob 
from the rich and give to the poor ; to punish the 
strong, and protect the weak ; to ill-treat proud 
men, and behave with gallantry to pretty women ; 
such are the characteristics of the great robbers of 


Hungary, and such the traits that have filled the | 
songs of the peasantry with their names and deeds. I 
There is another cause, too, which has tended to ' 
increase the popular sympathy with robbers in 
Hungary. They are, for the most part, young men 
who have been taken for soldiers, and who, having 
run away, have no other means of existence left. 
Even the sympathies of the nobles themselves are 
often engaged in their favour, and there are few, who, 
either from weakness or mistaken kindness, refuse 
to send provisions or money to an appointed place, 
when the Hungarian Captain Rock demands them. 
The mode of raising the conscripts is so brutal, 
that it is impossible not to pity those who are 
exposed to it. When the county has issued its 
orders to the under-officers to raise the required 
number of men, they proceed to the villages, and 
commence a levy by main force. Their common 
plan is said to be to take, at first, only the sons of 
the richest peasants, because they are certain of 
obtaining a handsome sum for their release. As 
soon as this is accomplished, they set about catch- 
ing all the loose fellows in the parish, who, know- 
ing what they have to expect, and pretty certain 
that nobody will release them, have already taken 
to the woods and mountains, and cannot be got 
at without a regular hunt. When once caught, . 

these poor fellows are ghaineoMn_long lines, and vj If 
thus literally driven more cruelly than the same ^ 
men would treat their own beasts, to the head- p 



quarters of the army. It is not to be won- 
dered at, that a service so recruited should be 
detested, or that the men should try to escape ; 
nor is it matter of surprise that a human heart, 
whether noble or simple, should sympathise with 
the poor fellows, whom such brutality as this has 
driven to a life of crime. This system of recruiting 
is a deep disgrace to Hungary, and it is the duty 
of every friend of his country to use his utmost 
endeavours to reform it. 

But to return to Tapolcza. The waiter's con- 
versation, alarming as was the subject, did not pre- 
vent us duly appreciating the excellence of the 
wine he had set before us; possibly it made us/ 
apply to it the more steadily. It was SchonriatieTV 
and one of the very best white wines I ever drank. 
It is grown, about a short day's journey from this 
place, on the hill of Somlyo, near Vasarhely, and a 
little to the west of it. If I am not mistaken, this 
hill must belong to the volcanic range we saw in 
this neighbourhood ; for I doubt if any other soil 
could give its wine that high flavour which it boasts. 
The Schomlauer, is a white wine, full-bodied and 
strong. It would, 1 think, suit the English market 
well, and it would probably bear the carriage with- 
out injury. 

Our route led us over a boggy plain, interspersed 
with volcanic mountains, rising abruptly from it, 
till we came to the shores of the Balaton, and so 
continued as far as Keszthely. The scenery at the 


lower end of the Balaton is mountainous, and must 
present many points of great beauty, which in a 
more favourable season we should have been de- 
lighted to ransack. 

is a thriving little town, and of con- 

siderable importance, from the great school of agri- 
culture founded here by Count George Festetits, 
and known as the Georgikon. Though no longer 
in so flourishing a state as formerly, ^he Georgikon 
iajL_gtill several professors and practical teachers 
maintained at the expense of Count Festetits. 
Thejre^are few countries in which more philan- 
thropic endeavours to better the condition of the 
people have been made than injjun^aryj but, un- 
fortunately, these endeavours have wanted a charac- 
ter of permanency, and they have, in consequence, 
almost always declined on the death of their first 

From Keszthely, we started about mid-day with 
six horses, hoping to get on two or three stages 
before night. But we were mistaken; we were 
again in the Bakonyer forest, and the road, if road 
it can be called, had become so bad, that at last 
the horses stuck quite fast, and we were obliged 
to wait patiently till Miklos returned, who had gone 
off, on one of the leaders, for fresh horses. We 
did not complete the fourteen miles to Kis Ko- 
marom, in less than seven hours and a half. We 
passed, in the course of the day, several waggons 
guarded by soldiers, which our drivers told us 

K K 2 


were conveying money to Pest. Patrols, too, we 
observed several times in different parts of the 

The next day's journey was still worse; with 
eight horses and four drivers we had hard work 
to get to Nagy Kanisa. The whole country in this 
neighbourhood is exceedingly wild and unculti- 
vated. It is principally composed jof forest and 
boggy grass-land, which is naturally rich, and only 
requires a little cultivation to produce_abundance. 
For wood scenery, such as one loves to fancy 
when hearing of Robin Hood, I have never seen 
anything finer. In many parts of this forest, I do 
not suppose an axe was ever used ; and even close 
by the road side, thousands of fine trees are rotting 
from age. They are most]y_joaks, mixed with a 
few birches. The mistletoe was in wonderful luxu- 
riance; the dying tops of the oaks seemed quite 
borne down by it. Where the surface is clear of 
trees for a few yards, a fine turf springs up na- 
turally, though the pigs, with which these forests 
are filled in winter for the sake of the acorns, root 
it up most unmercifully. It is wonderful to what 
a depth these fellows will go in search of roots, 
which they can smell from the surface. Their 
power of scent must be very much finer than that 
of the dog. We passed several villages belonging 
to the bishop of Veszprim. The state of the pea- 
santry in great part Sclaves is deplorable, in 
spite of the richness of the land. I do not think 


we have seen anywhere worse cultivation, and 
greater misery, than in this district. 

During this journey, it so rarely happened that 
we could calculate on arriving at a village at 
any fixed time, that we always took care to start 
with a good loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, 
besides some raw bacon and salami, which, al- 
though not the most elegant viands, were exceed- 
ingly palatable to hungry travellers. When, after 
dining three successive days on this diet, we ar- 
rived at Nagy Kanisa about mid-day, and, instead 
of a miserable village, found it a bustlinglittle 
Jown,^nd_when^we_ heard that a dinner was to 
be got, it was no wonder that we regarded it as 

a god-send. S , after luxuriating on the five 

good courses soup, boiled beef, salt pork, and 
saur Kraut, some pastry, and a loin of veal and 
salad exclaimed, " Well ! if any one ventures 
to tell me, after this, that Hungary is not a very 
civilized country, I shall beg to differ from him. I 
should be glad to know where else such a dinner 
as this, and a good bottle of wine to it, could be 
J^i^orjwenty-p^nce,- -I am sure^notjn^nglandj 
I do not think I have anywhere entered my pro- 
test against the veal, which is always the first 
dish the landlord especially if he be a German 
offers you in Hungary. It is a most villanous 
affair, red, tough, and tasteless, and not to be com- 
pared to an honest Magyar gulyds Ms, o 


The women of Nagy Kanisa are remarkable 
for the peculiar character of their head-dress. 
It is formed of white linen, disposed in flat folds, 

so much resembling that worn in the neighbourhood 
of Rome, that one can scarcely help fancying that 
the one people must have derived it from the other. 
I leave it to the speculative antiquary to determine 
whether a Roman colony taught the fashion to the 
Nagy Kanisians, or whether some of their barbarous 
ancestors carried it with them into the villages of 
the Campagna. 

As we were about to leave this place, an English 
gentleman, who had accidentally heard of our arri- 
val, came and introduced himself to us. He had 
been living with his wife, an Italian lady, in this 
neighbourhood, for two or three years, and he gave 
a tolerably favourable account of it. His neigh- 
bours, he says, are polite and friendly, living is very 
cheap, and the shooting particularly good. 


It took us seven days of tedious travelling, before 
we arrived at the river Drave, which forms the boun- 
dary of the ancient kingdom of Croatia. Between 
the Muhr and Drave we passed through some exceed- 
ingly flourishing villages, which offered a very strik- 
ing contrast to many we had previously seen. This 
district, called the " Island," from its position be- 
tween the two rivers, although by no means one of 
the most rich, is yet one of the most fruitful and 
prosperous in Hungary. The wine, the tobacco, the 
corn, the flax, every product grown here is better 
than what is produced in the districts on either 
side of it. All this prosperity seems to depend en- 
tirely on the greater industry of the people. How 
this has been produced it is difficult to say, but I 
suspect it is owing to the good management of the 
Count or Counts for I could not make out whe- 
ther it was one or many Festetits, to whom the 
greater part of it belongs. In one of these villages 
we observed a farm-yard and farm buildings which 
would not have been a discredit to Norfolk. 

It is in this neighbourhood that the Zriny family 
those Zrinys who figure in so many pages of Hun- 
garian history took their origin, and possessed large 
estates. The glorious death of Zriny Miklos has 
earned for him the name of the Hungarian Leoni- 
das. Zriny was intrusted with the command of the 
castle of Sziget, near Fiinfkirchen, and having cut 
off some of the Turkish troops, Solyman the Mag- 
nificent determined to inarch against him with all 


his forces. Although Zriny had but a small garri- 
son, and was left quite unsupported from without, 
he sustained the siege with the most extraordinary 
valour. The enemy was driven back in no less than 
twenty attempts to storm the castle, sixty thousand 
of the Turkish forces had perished, and Solyman 
himself had sickened and died still Zriny held 
out ; but now only three hundred of his men were 
living, and hunger was fast destroying even them. 
Determined not to yield, Zriny and his brave band 
rushed out on the Turks, and were all killed fight- 
ing to the last. This heroic resistance so far weak- 
ened the Turkish army, that they were obliged to 
retire without attempting any further invasion. 

Near Csakatornya, at Nedelicz, is a custom-house 
for goods passing from Austria into Hungary. A 
great part of the transport trade especially that 
carried on in the lighter waggons, between Trieste 
and Hungary is said to pass through this place. 
The chief articles are colonial produce, particularly 
sugar and coffee. Laden waggons generally occupy 
seven days from Trieste to Nedelicz, and from 
thence to Pest or Vienna about eight more. 

The Drave is a fine wide river, but apparently 
not very deep; with a little artificial aid, however, 
I should think it might be rendered navigable con- 
siderably higher up than the point at which we 
crossed. Directly on the other side, lies the town 
of Varasdin ; but as we did not remain longer than 
was required to change horses, I must content 


myself with saying that it is a pretty town, of eight 
thousand inhabitants, with clean well-paved streets, 
and a great number of handsome buildings. 

While we are hastening on to Agram, the capital 
of Croatia, I may as well say a word or two about 
the country itself. 

Croatia and Sclavonia for they are always 
reckoned together form the south-western por- 
tion of Hungary, to which country they have been 
united ever since the eleventh century. Their 
population, which may be estimated at something 
less than a million, without the borderers, is entirely 
of Sclavish origin, and of the Roman Catholic and 
Greek religions. Croatia and Sclavonia have the 
same laws and constitution as the rest of Hungary, 
except in one or two particulars, in which they 
enjoy special privileges. The counties send de- 
puties to the Diet just as other parts of Hungary 
and the county meetings are held in the same 
way ; but in addition to this, they sometimes hold 
what they call Diets of the Kingdoms of Croatia 
and Sclavonia Comitia Regnorum Croatia et 
Sclavonics. What the exact use of these Diets is, 
or how far their functions extend, I was not able to 
make out, indeed, I believe it is a disputed point, 
the Croatians wishing to consider themselves as 
confederates of Hungary, the Hungarians reckon- 
ing them as part and parcel of themselves. They 
sometimes, however, exercise the right of refusing 
to obey, or to adopt the acts of the General 


Diet, when they interfere with their own peculiar 

A case has lately arisen with respect to one of 
these privileges, which has given it a very unenvi- 
able notoriety. It is the privilege of excluding all 
Protestants from the possession of property, and 
I believe, of refusing them even the right of 
living within the boundaries of the two countries. 
This question has been mooted before the General 
Diet, and a more tolerant law passed; but as yet 
no change has been effected, for the Croatians have 
refused to sanction or adopt it. The only other 
distinction of any importance is the existence of 
the Banat Table, a court of justice, answering to 
the district courts of Hungary, to which causes are 
referred from the county courts. 

The soil of Croatia, though less rich than that of 
many parts of Hungary, is by no means a poor one, 
but it is badly cultivated, and is in consequence 
unproductive. The peasants whom we met on the 
road were generally small in size, and poor in ap- 
pearance. Their dress is somewhat similar to that 
of the other peasants of Hungary, but it is more 
coarse in material and rude in fashion. The men 
wear brown cloth jackets, trimmed with red, a 
round sheepskin cap on their heads, and trowsers 
made of thick white cloth. The women have their 
heads wrapped in a piece of white linen, arranged 
without taste and hanging down over the shoulders. 
Their only ornament is a bow of red ribbon fastened 


on the breast. In winter, over the linen gown, 
they wear a shapeless white great coat. 

At a small village where we stopped to dine, we 
fell into conversation with the landlord, a bluff, 
jolly-looking fellow, who turned out to be a 
Croatian Radical, and by no means too content 
with the manner in which things are managed. He 
said that the peasants are much more poor and 
miserable than in Hungary, and that this is more 
especially the case in the mountainous districts. 
Nor did he attribute it so much to the poverty of 
the soil, or the smaller size of the peasants' fiefs, 
as to the oppression of their seigneurs. It is a 
very common thing, according to his account, for a 
landlord to seize his peasants' land on some frivo- 
lous pretext, and keep it from them altogether, or 
oblige them to pay a heavy sum to be allowed to 
retain it. Sometimes a vineyard which has been 
entirely formed by the labour of the peasant, and 
which is often worth two or three hundred pounds, 
is taken away, and a barren plot of ground, of the 
same size, offered as an equivalent. The courts 
of law, he said, afforded them no protection what- 
soever. What rendered this man's testimony of 
greater value was the fact, that he himself was 
noble. Notwithstanding all this poverty and 
wretchedness it should be remarked, that we saw 
here more large churches, and more images of 
saints, than in all the rest of Hungary together. I 
do not assert that this was cause and effect, but if 

508 AGRAM. 

not, it was a curious coincidence, and it is one 
which I have observed more than once in the 
course of my travels. 

The road leading into Agram is so bad that we 
nearly stuck fast in the suburbs ; and this was the 
more remarkable, because, till within a few miles of 
the town, the roads had been far better than in most 
other parts of Hungary. Agram itself is a town of 
ten thousand inhabitants, and wears an aspect of 
bustle and activity, which speaks well for its pro- 
sperity. In strolling about, the Catholic Bishop's 
palace was the first object which attracted our at- 
tention. It was formerly a fortified castle, of such 
an extent as to include the cathedral within its walls. 
The fosse, however, is now converted into gardens, 
with lakes, and winding walks, and temples which, 
if a little fantastic, are still pretty, and are very 
liberally thrown open to the public. The Bishop 
is said to have about twenty-five thousand pounds 
per annum, the greater part of which he derives 
from his estates in the Banat. Although but in- 
differently regarded as an absentee landlord, he 
is very popular as a resident bishop, and is said 
to do a great deal for the good of the town. He 
has a regiment of grenadiers of his own, which 
is composed entirely of his tenants from the^ Banat, 
each of whom is obliged to serve two years. It is 
no wonder that such soldiers have not a very mar- 
tial bearing, and I certainly never saw anything 
more ludicrous than the Bishop's clodhopper sen- 

AGRAM. 509 

tinels in their scarlet pantaloons, brown coats, and 
high grenadier caps. The cathedral is a fine old 
Gothic structure, but the interior is spoiled by 
a profusion of rich marble altars, in the Italian 
style. The pulpit is quite covered with alto- 
rilievos in white marble. 

From the palace we climbed the hill, on which 
stand the middle and upper towns for Agram con- 
sists of three towns, in the lower of which our hotel 
is situated. The Stadt, or higher town, was formerly 
the fortress, and contains the palace of the Ban of 
Croatia, and many fine houses of the nobles. We 
found some good shops, chiefly kept by Raitzen 
(Servians) and Jews, who are among the richest of 
the inhabitants, and have the trade almost entirely 
in their own hands. Of Germans there are but 
few here. The drapers' shops were particularly 
well supplied with German, Italian, and a few Eng- 
lish goods. 

One of the booksellers' shops which we entered 
was large, and bespoke a thriving trade. It con- 
tained almost all the standard German works, and 
German translations of Bulwer, Marryat, and some 
others of our popular novelists- There were a few 
works in French, and one or two English works 
with engravings. The bookseller, who was an 
intelligent man, told us that all the higher classes 
speak French and German, but very few English. 
One small shelf contained all the Hungarian books, 
among which were, the works of Count Cz6chenyi. 


Of books in the Croatian language, there are only 
three or four existing. The Croatian language is a 
dialect of the Sclavish, more resembling, however, 
that of Poland than those of Bohemia, Russia, or 
even the Sclavack dialect of the north of Hungary. 
Till within the last few years, it has been totally 
uncultivated, and its use confined exclusively to 
the peasantry. Since, however, the Hungarian 
Diet has proposed to enforce the use of the 
Magyar language instead of the Latin, in public 
transactions throughout all Hungary, a spirit of 
opposition has been excited among the Sclavish 
population, which threatens very serious conse- 
quences. The first effect of the measure proposed 
by the Diet was, the rousing up in Croatia of a 
strong sentiment of nationality, which found vent 
in the establishment of a periodical, something like 
the "Penny Magazine 5 ' in form, in the Sclavish 
language. This is the " Danica Ilirska," edited by 
Dr. Gay. It is published once a week, is very 
respectably got up, and contains national songs, 
original articles, and translations. 

They are now endeavouring to improve the lan- 
guage by introducing new words in use among the 
Illyrians, whose language was originally the same, 
but which is now more polished. The Illyrian 
language is soft and agreeable to the ear, and no 
doubt, to them, contains a thousand beauties which 
no other language can possess. There seems too 
to be some idea among the tetes exaltees here of 


an Illyrian nationality. It is no uncommon thing 
to hear them reckoning up the Croats, Sclavonians, 
Bosnians, Dalmatians, Servians, Montenegrins, and 
Bulgarians, and then comparing this mass of Sclaves 
with the three or four millions of Magyars, and 
proudly asking why they should submit to deny 
their language and their origin because the Magyars 
command it. 

I am very far from wishing this party success, 
though I cannot help in some degree sympathising 
with a people who resist, when they think a stronger 
power is willing to abuse its strength by depriving 
the weaker of those objects language and religion 
which they hold as most dear. No one can doubt 
how highly conducive it would be to the good of 
Hungary that Croatia should be made completely 
Hungarian ; or that it is disgraceful to the age 
in which we live, that Protestants should be ex- 
cluded from a whole country on account of their 
faith ; yet indubitable as are these facts, it may 
nevertheless be very impolitic to seek to remedy 
them by violent means. 

The act has passed, however, which declares that 
in ten years' time no Croat shall be eligible to a 
public office who cannot read and write the Magyar 
language, and the consequence has been, the crea- 
tion of a feeling of hatred against the Magyars, 
which bodes but very ill for the speedy Magyarising 
of the Croatian people. I have no doubt that some 
portion of this opposition is connected with Rus- 


sian intrigue; for it is particularly strong among 
the members of the Greek church, and it is so 
much the interest of Russia to weaken Austria, by 
disorganising her ill-united parts, that we may be 
sure such an opportunity for the attainment of her 
objects would not be lost. That many of those 
who are influential in spreading the discontent, are 
unknowingly instruments in the hand of Russia, I 
feel certain ; they profess indeed a most bitter 
hatred of Russia, and I have no doubt feel it too ; 
but they are as certainly working out her objects 
as if they were her paid agents. 

Among the communicants of the Greek reli- 
gion, Russia has still more power in Croatia than in 
Transylvania, because of the similarity of the lan- 
guages ; and this influence is increased by the cir- 
cumstance of the prayer-books of the Croats having 
been formerly all printed in Russia. They conse- 
quently contained many Russianisms, which remain 
to the present time, though it is no longer allowed 
to print them out of Austria. It is a curious cir- 
cumstance, too, that the Catholic and Greek reli- 
gionists, generally such bitter enemies, are said to 
agree exceedingly well in Croatia. 

We had observed, in walking through the town, 
a great number of gentlemen in full costume, and 
on inquiring the reason, found they had been pre- 
sent at a county meeting, which had excited great 
interest, from the circumstance of a royal commis- 
sioner having been sent down expressly to attend 


it. It appeared that Government, having found it 
impossible to check smuggling, by means of its 
officers, on the frontiers of Croatia, had determined 
to station them at different places within the coun- 
try, with power to seize suspected goods wherever 
they might find them. This, however, would have 
been a gross violation of the Municipal Constitution, 
which places the whole executive power in the 
elected officers of the county; and the Croatians 
declared, accordingly, that they would not submit 
to it. In the face of such direct opposition, Govern- 
ment had not ventured to put its plan into execu- 
tion, and had sent down a commissioner to explain 
its intentions, and, if possible, to persuade the 
Croatians to consent. One of them, however, with 
whom we fell into conversation, observed, " We 
know better than to let Government officers in 
amongst us, because, when once there, it is no such 
easy matter to get rid of them again ; and besides, 
the very laws which the Government wishes to 
support by illegal means, are themselves contrary 
to our rights; let them restore to us our free 
trade, till they do that, I for one will aid the 
smuggler by every means I possess." 

From Agram to Karlstadt, our next resting-place, 
we passed through a rather uninteresting country, 
occasionally showing symptoms of activity and cul- 
tivation, but in general much neglected. The Save, 
which we crossed by a wooden bridge just on the 
outside of Agram, is a fine river, and we were told 



contains water enough at all seasons to float barges 
of two hundred tons, bearing merchandise. A 
great quantity of corn and brandy comes up the 
Save every year from the Banat, for Croatia, Trieste, 
and Italy ; but of late years it is said to have been 
diminished by the competition with the corn from 
Odessa. The manner in which many of the forests 
are destroyed by bad management in this country, 
is really melancholy, and the destruction has gone to 
such an extent that firewood has become exceed- 
ingly dear. We were told at Agram that a klafter 
a small cart load costs as much as eighteen or 
twenty shillings, and this in a country more than 
half of which is in wood. 

Karlstadt is on the Croatian military frontier, 
and is rather a pretty town, with many good houses, 
inhabited chiefly by the border officers. It has a 
kind of fortress, but it is by no means capable of 
holding out against artillery for a moment. The 
river Kulpa, which flows through the town, and the 
Ludovica road the Hungarian Simplon are the 
chief sources of its wealth and importance. 

From the communication which the road and the 
Kulpa were expected to lay open, by means of the 
Save and Danube, between the Adriatic and the 
Black Sea, great commercial results were antici- 
pated ; but hitherto it has disappointed the expec- 
tations which were formed. A gentleman whom we 
met here, told us that the Save is navigable at all 
times of the year, and for almost any craft, and that 



the Kulpa, even in its present state, is open for 
large boats in spring and autumn, and for smaller 
ones all summer, and that, with very little expense, 
it might be rendered much more useful than it even 
now is. As yet steam-boats have not been esta- 
blished, even on the Save, but great hopes are 
entertained that they will be ere long.* 

As we were sitting down to our supper the land- 

* The Athenceum contains a letter, dated Vienna, llth October 
1838, containing a very interesting notice of the first attempt 
to navigate the Save and Kulpa with steam. I extract a portion 
of it : 

" The steam-boat (of forty-horse power) was named the Arch- 
duchess Sophia, and started from Semlin as follows : 

Date of Departure. 

Place and Hour of Arrival. 


6th Sept. 
Semlin, 2 P.M. 


7th Sept. 4 A.M. 

Gunza, 8th Sept. 

3 A.M. 

Brood, 9th Sept. 

Puska, 10th Sept. 

7 A.M. 

Kupinova ...... 7 P.M. 

Witojercze ... 8 A.M. 

Mitrovitz 12 

BonoraAdicza 2J 
Gunza 7| 

Supanye 7^ 

Schamacz 12^ 

Brood 5 

Swinar 8 

Jessenovacz . . . 5 
Puska 7| 

Lonya S 

Czaprak l| 

Sissek 2 

Pass the night. 

An island. 

The ancient Syrmium. 
7 floating mills. 
Pass the night. 

10 Aust, 2 Bos mills. 
Junction of the Bosna. 
Pass the night. 

Junction of the Verbas. 
Austrian fortress. 
Junction of the Unna. 
Pass the night. 

Retarded by a fog. 
Enter the Kulpa. 
Termination of the 

L L 2 



lord introduced an officer of the Borderers, who 
having heard that two Englishmen had arrived in 
Karlstadt, and being himself of English descent, wish- 
ed to see them. His name was Samson, and we found 
him a very good-tempered agreeable acquaintance. 
He spoke of the Borderers with all the enthusiasm 
a good officer might be supposed to feel for his men. 
Those of the Croatian frontiers, he said, though not 
such fine large men as those of the Banat, were very 
clever in the use of their weapons, to which they 


Date of Departure. 

Place and Hour of Arrival. 


Sissek, llth Sept. 

8^ A.M. 


3 A.M. 

Pass the night, and 
take in wood. 

12th Sept. 

5 A.M. 

Alt Gradisca . 

8 4 

The Save very narrow. 
Pass the night. 

13th Sept. 

4| A.M. 

Topola, 14th Sept. 

5\ A.M. 



Brisk salute. 
Take in wood. 
Pass the night. 

Termination of the 


The voyage was perfectly satisfactory; and there seems no 
reason for apprehending interruption to the navigation, either 
from want of water in summer or floating ice in winter, as the 
experiment has been made during the driest month of the year ; 
and the frosts of winter last only from the beginning of January 
to the beginning of February. The first day's voyage passed off 
without incident. On the 7th, when approaching Mitrovitz, the 
Save was narrow and deep, and the vessel for some time ascended 
very slowly. This town will become the point of embarkation 


were accustomed from their childhood. In such 
constant danger are they from incursions from the 
Turkish Croatians and Bosnians, that they never go 
out to tend their sheep, or even to plough, without 
being armed. As might be expected, they become 
better soldiers than agriculturists. On pressing our 

for the famous Schiller, or red Syrmian wine, which is by many 
thought equal to Tokay. On the forenoon of the 8th, especial 
circumspection became requisite, as at Wuchijak, a place between 
Supanye and Schamacz, the river became broad and shallow, 
having two long sand-banks ; but luckily both were got over 
without once grounding, and the reception of our smutty Argo- 
nauts in the evening at Brood was in the highest degree gratifying. 
This is an important Austrian fortress ; a salute was fired on the 
occasion, and the natives turned out en masse. The appearance 
of these people, with their long shaggy black locks, and their short 
black caftan (Gunyacz), was striking. Their language is a curious 
mixture of Sclavonic and Latin ; for example, Kakasyte dormirali 
how did you deep ? The vessel was visited by Major-Gen, von 
Neumann, the commandant of the fortress, and the evening was 
spent in festivity. On the 9th September, two officers of the 
fortress accompanied the vessel as far as Alt Gradisca, which is 
opposite Berbir, formerly an Austrian tete de pont, but now a 
Turkish fortress. A picturesque chain of hills, rising from the 
river, rendered this the most agreeable part of the voyage. At 
Jessenovacz, nine hujas farther up, the right bank ceases to be 
Turkish territory. The town is built of wood ; and, as it stands 
on piles, has been sometimes called New Amsterdam. On the 
10th, at two o'clock, the boat reached Sissek, and was received 
with waving banners, joyous music, and firing of muskets. In the 
evening there was a public dinner, when the healths of the Emperor, 
the Empress, and the Arch-duke Palatine, were drunk with loud 
applause ; and on the llth, accompanied by twenty-three indi- 
viduals, the vessel started again on her downward voyage. 

Should this experiment be followed up with spirit, the advan- 
tages which may flow from it can scarcely be overrated. Tho 


friend very closely as to the subject of their honesty, 
he confessed that they were rather apt to mistake 
other people's property for their own, " not," he 
said, " that they steal like those rascally infidels, 
they only take things, just in play, as children do ! " 
Karlstadt, he said, was so near the frontier, and 
so ill-defended, that a party of Turks might, by 

present trade on the Save and Drave is limited to barrel hoops, 
staves, firewood, &c., although the country could produce vast 
quantities of corn, wine, and iron. It is true, that the central 
parts between the two rivers are so thickly wooded, that the old 
Hungarian proverb is still applicable, " Si lupus essem, nollem 
alibi quam in Sclavonia lupus esse ; " but all along the Save, 
nature has poured forth her choicest blessings. On questioning 
my informant as to the quality of the soil, " fat and black " were 
the adjectives he used. It would be out of place to enter into an 
examination of those peculiar laws and institutions of Hungary, 
which hinder the influx of capital and the developement of the 
national resources. I shall, therefore, content myself with re- 
marking how curiously the interfering with the laws that regulate 
production and distribution, operates in two countries so diiferent 
from each other. In England, land intended by nature for pas- 
ture, is devoted to the plough ; and in Hungary, millions of acres 
of what might be garden ground, are abandoned to swine and 
cattle. Sissek is only forty English miles from Karlstadt, between 
which and Fiume is the splendid road constructed under the 
direction of Baron Bukassawich ; and I am informed that if the 
little cataract at Ozuil were blown up, the Kulpa would be navi- 
gable to within thirty or forty miles of the sea. As it is, Fiume 
may become the port of a great part of Hungary. I find, by the 
last returns in the Commercial Gazette, that, in the month of August, 
the imports of this place were 227,111 florins ; and the exports, 
consisting principally of corn and tobacco, 349,904. Should then 
this experiment be properly followed up, the Save will be the great 
highway between the Adriatic ports and Sernlin, the Banat, Tran- 
sylvania, Szegedin, and all the towns on the Theiss and Maras." 


a sudden incursion, pillage and burn it any day. 
Government, however, was intending to fortify 
it more strongly. He seemed to have a sincere 
hatred of his Turkish neighbours, and described 
them as a most barbarous, cruel, and rapacious set, 
who would be continually at war if they dared. 
" I think, however," he observed, " we have quieted 
them for a while ; for in return for their last attack, 
we followed them home, and burnt one of their 
largest villages, containing two hundred houses, to 
the ground." 

The next day we commenced the passage of the 
mountains to Fiume, along the line of the Ludovica- 
road. This road was formed by a private company 
under the direction of General Vukassovics, but ra- 
ther as a patriotic undertaking than as a commercial 
speculation. It extends eighteen German, or about 
eighty-five English, miles. Nothing can be more 
beautifully constructed than it is; there is not a 
sudden elevation of any consequence from one end 
to the other, and the slopes are so gradual that a 
carriage may be driven at a trot up and down them 
without danger or difficulty. The body of the road 
itself is perhaps a little too arched, but the parapet 
walls, drains, water-courses, and bridges, are most 
beautifully executed, and maintained in excellent 

Our first stage of two posts brought us by gradual 
ascents into as wild and mountainous a district as 
I ever saw. The stratum is entirely a compact lime- 

520 SKRAD. 

stone, presenting in many places those vast cauldron- 
shaped hollows which are so frequent near Trieste. 

We were surprised, on inquiring in German if 
anything in the shape of dinner could be got at 
the station-house, to be answered in very good 
Irish, "Sure there is, your honour, eggs and bacon 
in plenty, and a chicken if your honour 's not in a 
hurry." Our respondent, we found, was the daugh- 
ter of an Irishman who had served under Napoleon, 
and she herself had been many years in General 
Count Nugent's family. She had married an Italian 
fellow-servant, and Count Nugent had set them up 
in this inn, which is situated on a part of his own 
estate. We were the first Englishmen she had seen 
since her settlement in this place, and how she 
managed to make us out by the blue ends of our 
noses, which was all that could be seen out of our 
fur cloaks, is more than I can guess. She was glad 
enough to see us, and did her best to make us 
comfortable with such poor means as were within 
her power. 

We got on as far as Skrad before night, which, 
like all the other villages in this district, is a 
miserable place. The whole country we passed 
through is mere rock and wood ; and though clear- 
ing and cultivating might do something towards 
improving its dreary aspect, it must ever remain 
a very barren district. We passed some long trains 
of waggons in the course of the day, chiefly laden 
with timber, rags, and some corn, which they were 


conveying to Fiume. Others which we met return- 
ing were quite empty. 

We ascended still higher in the course of the 
second day, not that we could observe it by the 
road itself, for it is so beautifully laid out that the 
ascent is quite imperceptible, but we found the 
snow, which had been all melted in the lower re- 
gions, still clinging, as we advanced, to the mountain 
sides. As we began to descend we were roused 
from a doze by a sudden cry from Miklos, of " a 
great water ! a great water ! " and starting up, we 
found the Adriatic, studded with beautiful islands, 
and sprinkled over with fishing-boats, directly be- 
neath us. For some moments after his first ex- 
clamation, Miklos remained quite silent, from awe 
and wonder, till at last he said, " Your Grace, that 
must be the Danube again, no other water can be 
so large ; and see, there are wild ducks swimming 
all about." He could not believe, even when we 
told him, that it was the sea he saw, and that 
his ducks were large boats, which the distance only 
made appear so small. 

The descent to Fiume was one succession of beau- 
ties, increasing as we advanced. The construc- 
tion of this part of the road is exceedingly fine, 
quite equal to anything of the kind in Europe. In 
one place it has been cut straight through the rocks, 
and forms a kind of gateway called the Porta Un- 
garica. In the course of the descent, on one side 
the road we observed a large plain, completely sur- 


rounded by mountains, arid forming a colossal am- 
phitheatre. It was in this spot that the Tartars, 
after having overrun all Hungary, encamped, and 
where they were fallen upon by the people, who had 
collected on the mountains round, and cut to pieces. 
Eight thousand are said to have remained on the field. 

When we had nearly finished the descent, we 
came to a barrier, and were desired to show our 
passports ; and no sooner did the officer find from 
them that we were foreigners, than he demanded a 
toll of six shillings and four pence for having passed 
over the road. " You ought," he said, " to have 
paid at the other end, but the man there probably 
mistook you for Hungarian gentlemen, and so let 
you pass." We, of course, paid it, and in a few 
minutes after rattled over the stones of Fiume, till 
we came to a stand before the hotel door. 

And while we are settling down there, let us say 
a few words as to the prospective advantages of 
this road. We have stated, that hitherto it has 
been little used, partly on account of the high tolls, 
partly from the want of further improvements for 
facilitating the navigation of the Save and Kulpa 
but most of all from the want of commerce between 
Hungary and other countries. Supposing for a 
moment all these drawbacks removed, it still re- 
mains a question whether Fiume can ever become 
the port of Hungary, and the Ludovica road its 
great artery. We doubt if it ever will, though 
\ve by no means condemn it to languish for ever 


in its present state. The trade of Hungary must 
follow the course of the Danube, and find its port 
on the shores of the Black Sea. The superior 
richness of the country through which the Danube 
flows, the ease of transporting heavy goods up and 
down a stream of such size, almost without any 
land-carriage, the number of its tributary streams, 
and the wealth and importance of the towns on its 
banks, render this unquestionable. The only diffi- 
culty which presents itself is the passage of the Iron 
Gates ; and with fifty miles of road for towing or 
transport, this will henceforth be of little conse- 
quence. It is true, that warehouses are necessary 
at Scala Gladova, Orsova, and Moldova ; that a con- 
sular agent ought to be stationed at Orsova; that, 
in fact, many arrangements are required to render 
commercial intercourse perfectly easy and conve- 
nient ; but, sooner or later, they will be made, for 
by this route alone can a great commerce ever 
be carried on. At the same time Croatia and 
Sclavonia may transport a part of their timber, 
hemp, rags, and tallow by Fiume, and receive in 
return the manufactures of the west. But there 
is another light in which, in the present aspect of 
European affairs, this road may be regarded. At 
every moment we hear of tremendous armaments, 
on the part of Russia, collecting in Bessarabia and 
along the banks of the Danube ; of great fleets 
manoeuvring in the Black Sea, ready in a moment 
to overwhelm the dependencies of Turkey, but 


intended, probably, only to frighten European diplo- 
matists into the belief that she could do so. Sup- 
pose, for a moment, that these troops had marched, 
and these vessels had sailed ; suppose even that the 
Dardanelles were closed to our fleet ; what means 
does this road afford to Austria of controlling the 
fate of Turkey ? Austria, on the first alarm, could 
throw a body of troops into Transylvania and along 
the Wallachian frontiers, where they would occupy 
a position confessedly impregnable. She could then 
admit through Fiume a French or English army 
which, after a march of eighty miles over the Ludo- 
vica road, could be placed on board the large 
corn-boats on the Kulpa or Save, and transported 
without fatigue or loss down the Danube into the 
heart of Wallachia in about ten days. She would 
thus have placed an overwhelming force in the rear 
of the Russian army, with the power of intercepting, 
in winter, when the ports of the Black Sea are 
frozen, the only route by which that army could 
receive supplies. In this point of view the Ludovica 
road may still be of European importance. It is 
well known too that we are dependent on Russia for 
a vast quantity of raw produce, without which our 
trade could not get on. As we shall see hereafter, 
these articles can be furnished as well by Hungary, 
and by the Fiume road they could always reach the 
Mediterranean in spite of Russia. 

On presenting our letters of introduction, we 
were very politely received by the deputy-governor, 

FIUME. 525 

Count Almasi, and everything worth seeing at Fiume 
was at once laid open to us. In truth, the sights of 
Fiume are no great matters. It is a pretty little 
seaport town, with a good harbour; but, although 
possessing the advantages of a free port, it was un- 
tenanted by a single vessel of any size. Nothing 
can be more beautiful than the situation of Fiume; 
it is backed by immense rocks, the sides of which 
are covered, wherever a particle of soil can rest, 
with vineyards ; while in front is the Adriatic and 
its lovely islands. The town has quite an Italian 
air about it, and nothing but Italian and Illyrian is 
heard in the shops and streets. Fiume has a club 
and theatre, and the social life of its inhabitants is 
said to be pleasant enough. It has a little semi- 
diplomatic society, too, of consuls, to which we 
were introduced, and from some of the consuls we 
obtained a good deal of information. It had formerly 
a very extensive sugar refinery, occupying one thou- 
sand persons ; but, as it had originally been created 
by a royal privilege, so it was destroyed when the 
privilege was withdrawn. The only productive in- 
dustry at present existing, is thn paper-mill of 
our countrymen, Messrs. Smith & Co. We visited 
their mill, which is placed near the end of the 
Ludovica road, and is worked by the torrent which 
rushes down from the mountain. Mr. Smith told 
us that they employed about two hundred and fifty 
people, who worked pretty well, and were easily kept 
in order, and that every day they were obliged to 


refuse applications for work. All their machinery 
is brought direct from England. They produce a 
fair writing paper, though nothing of a very su- 
perior character, which is almost entirely consumed 
in the Levant. 

About a mile or two south of the town, a large 
Lazaretto has been built, in one of the most beau- 
tiful bays I almost ever saw. They say the arrange- 
ments of this Lazaretto are perfect there is nothing 
wanting but ships to fill it. Ten miles still further 
south, is Porto Re, a large and commodious harbour, 
built by Charles VI., and acknowledged to be the 
safest and best in the Austrian dominions. A 
war- steamer had just been built there. The small 
portion of sea-coast between Istria and Dalmatia, 
has often figured in the gravamina of the Hungarian 
Diet as the Litorale. For a long time Austria re- 
fused to give it up ; and though she has yielded 
with respect to this part, Dalmatia and the islands, 
equally demanded by the Hungarians as a" portion 
of their dominions, are still refused to them. 

We have met a stout liberal here, who is at the 
same time a Sclave and a strong supporter of the 
Sclavish nationality. He speaks with great admir- 
ation of the talent with which Napoleon seized on 
this point when he formed his kingdom of Illyria, 
and the power that this idea still exercises over the 
minds of the people. Dalmatia he describes as an 
exceedingly interesting country, though the people 
are in a very wild and savage state. If we had had 


time, we should have liked to have accepted this 
gentleman's offer to show us the most important 
parts of Dalmatia: but the steamer was to leave 
Trieste in a few days, and Pola and its amphitheatre 
had still to be seen. 

The commerce of Fiume is said to be very insigni- 
ficant, and to be confined almost exclusively to rags, 
staves, corn, and tobacco. Of late years the corn 
trade has fallen off considerably, the Odessa mer- 
chants having, from their facilities for trade, been 
enabled to undersell the Fiume merchants, not only 
in the ports of Italy, but sometimes even in Fiume 
itself. The best part of the Fiume trade is with the 
smugglers ; and smuggling is so far recognised, that 
an Englishman, who set up to trade here in an 
honest manner, received a friendly warning from 
high authority to imitate his neighbours, if he did 
riot wish to be ruined. As Fiume itself is a free port, 
of course it is surrounded on every side by custom- 
house officers, who are so numerous, for this place 
alone, as to cost sixty thousand florins (6000/.) per 
annum. Not that they are of any use ; for, as one 
of the authorities observed, " ten pence a day is all 
they get for doing their duty, and, of course, twenty 
pence will easily induce them to neglect it." The 
coast, too, is of so mountainous a character, that 
it would be almost impossible to protect it, except 
by introducing a more liberal commercial system. 

And now, before we close these volumes, for at 
Fiume our Travels in Hungary may be said to have 


finished, and Pola and Trieste are too well known 
to require description, we must say a few words 
on the commercial resources and prospects of 
Hungary. It is so singular a fact that a coun- 
try overflowing with natural productions, and in 
want of every article of manufactured industry, 
should be quite unknown to the merchants of Eng- 
land, that some explanation of it seems required. 
In the first place, we shall enumerate the chief 
productions of Hungary, and shall then endeavour 
to show why these have not been sought for by the 
English, and point out what the chief advantages 
are which we might derive from a trade with 

Hungary and Transylvania, for we shall now 
speak of the two together, with a population of 
twelve millions, occupy a surface of about one 
hundred and ten thousand English square miles. 
This surface is exceedingly various in its nature, 
but on the whole it may be set down as one of 
the most fruitful portions of Europe, as well as 
one of the most rich in natural productions. 

We have already said so much of mines and 
mining, that it is scarcely necessary to state here 
how extensive the veins of gold and silver are 
which run through the whole country. It has been 
stated by Beudant, that there is more gold and 
silver found in Hungary than in all the rest of 
Europe besides. The privilege of working the 
mines is open to every one on the payment of a 


tenth of the produce to the Crown; the only other 
restriction being the obligation to have the pre- 
cious metals coined in the country, for which a 
small per-centage is charged. From the number 
of places in which we have seen iron hammers, it 
must be evident that iron abounds throughout 
extensive districts; but hitherto the iron mines 
have been very badly worked, and the iron so ill- 
wrought as to be extremely dear. For the erec- 
tion of the new chain-bridge at Pest, it has been 
found cheaper to have the iron-work cast in 
England, sent by water to Fiume or Trieste, and 
from thence by land to Pest, than to have it ma- 
nufactured either in Hungary or in any other part 
of the Austrian dominions. Such is the advantage 
which commercial habits and scientific knowledge 
give over cheap labour. I have heard it stated 
that the iron of Hungary possesses qualities superior 
to that of any other part of Europe, except Sweden, 
for conversion into steel ; yet it is so badly wrought 
that worse cutlery cannot exist than that of Hun- 
gary. Hungarian iron is quite unknown in the 
English market. 

Copper is found in great abundance forty thou- 
sand hundred-weight yearly. Lead, and indeed 
every other metal, is obtained, but rather more 
sparingly. Sulphur occurs in eight different coun- 
ties ; but it is often not worked from the want of 
demand for the article ; I have myself seen mines 
given up from no other cause. This is of import- 


530 TIMBER. 

ance at the present moment when the Sicilian 
monopoly is in the hands of Frenchmen, who are 
said to have raised the price of their sulphur, and 
thereby inflicted a considerable injury on many 
branches of English industry. 

The quantity of salt which these countries can 
produce seems quite unlimited; and from the fine 
condition of the mines, the pure state in which the 
salt occurs, and the position of the beds near navi- 
gable rivers, it might be procured as cheaply as 
from any part of the world. Soda, alum, potash, 
and saltpetre, are all abundant, but particularly 
soda, which occurs in great purity and plenty on 
the plain near Debreczen. 

Coal, as I have already said, is found in several 
districts, and I believe it is the only coal in Europe 
which can contest the field with that of England 
for the use of steam-engines. That it is at present 
as dear as English coal imported via Constantinople 
is entirely attributable to bad, or rather dishonest, 

Of wood, Hungary, and the neighbouring coun- 
tries, Bosnia and Servia, are capable of furnishing 
vast stores. At present, England receives a large 
portion of her timber from the Baltic, which might 
be as well obtained from these countries, by Fiume 
or the Black Sea, and the navy of England would 
then be no longer dependent for its supply on the 
country which is most likely to place itself in rival- 
ship with her. The forests of Hungary, particularly 


the Bakonyer, are almost entirely composed of oak, 
which is of two kinds, the red, a quick-growing 
soft wood, of little use except for firing; and the 
white, a firm lasting timber, well adapted for ship- 
building, or other purposes requiring durability. 
In those parts of the country where the roads are 
too bad to allow of the transport of large blocks 
of timber, the wood might be cut into staves, for 
which there is always a great demand, and so con- 
veyed to the coast in smaller loads for exportation. 
A considerable trade is already carried on in this 
article between Fiume and Marseilles, most of the 
staves being procured from Bosnia and brought by 
land-carriage to Fiume. The opening of the Save 
and Drave would considerably reduce the cost of 
carriage, and wood might then be transported, 
nearly the whole way, by water to the Black Sea. 

Another article connected with our shipping in- 
terest, to which we have already alluded, is hemp. 
All the hemp used in the navy is of Russian growth, 
and it is one of the chief of our imports from that 
country. The hemp of Hungary is both cheaper 
and better; and instead of taking it from a rival, 
we should take it from a safe ally.* 

Hides and tallow are also articles of Russian 

* Some months since, I heard that a part of the navy contract 
was to be given to Baron Eskeles of Vienna for a supply of Hun- 
garian hemp, but I am not aware that the arrangements are yet 
concluded. No exertions ought to be spared either by Austria 
or England to carry them out. 

M M 2 

532 WINES. 

commerce, in which Hungary might prove a for- 
midable rival. 

Of the Hungarian tobacco we have spoken at 
length elsewhere. Although the tobacco of Hun- 
gary is an article which, from the peculiar position 
in which we stand with respect to our Colonies, can 
scarcely gain a footing in the English market ; yet it 
is one which the German and Italian merchants would 
gladly avail themselves of, if they were allowed. 

Horse-hair, bristles, gall-nuts, and rags, are all 
articles of Hungarian commerce ; and of the latter 
very large exportations to this country already take 
place annually. 

Spirits of wine are produced at a low rate, and 
are exported to Germany. 

It is always a difficult matter to decide how far 
any wine will suit a particular market ; but I have 
a strong suspicion that a really good wine will suit 
all ; and, if I may trust my own taste, I should 
say that much of the Hungarian wine deserves 
that character. Hungarian wines may be divided 
into two classes, the sweet wines, or Ausbrucli, and 
the red and white table wines. The most cele- 
brated of the sweet wines is that of Tokay, which 
for delicacy of flavour and brightness of colour is 
unequalled. Next to Tokay comes the Mnes 
wine, but though rich and strong, it has a coarse 
taste when compared with Tokay. Among the best 
dessert wines, after these, are reckoned those of 
Ruszt, Karlowitz, St. Georg, and (Edenburg. These 

WINES. 533 

wines are commonly drunk only in very small quan- 
tities, a glass or two taken with the sweets being 
the extreme. As there is so very little taste for 
sweet wines in England, I doubt if these wines 
would find any great number of admirers amongst 
us, at least until our habits are changed. 

Of the table wines it is difficult to give any de- 
scription, they are so numerous and so little known. 
The wines of Buda (Offner in German) and Erlau, 
are those I prefer of the red wines ; indeed, I 
think I have drunk old Buda equal to the best 
Burgundy. Those of Posing, St. Georg, Sexo, 
Miskolcz, Neustadt, and many others, are cele- 
brated, but I cannot recollect them sufficiently to 
speak of their merits. 

Among the white wines, I can answer for those 
of Somlyo (Schomlauer in German) and Nesz- 
mly being equal to any of the white wines of 
France (excepting, of course, champagne), and they 
are better to my taste than the generality of the 
sour products of the Rhine. Others of note are 
those of Ratzischdorf, Badacson, Szekszard and 
Sirak. Of the Transylvanian wines I have spoken 
at sufficient length already. The white wines of 
that country are certainly not inferior to those of 

The characteristic qualities of the Hungarian 
wines are their strength and fire. They almost all 
of them require keeping some time before they 
come to their prime. It is supposed that of the 

534 WOOL. 

24,400,000 eimers grown in the country, not more 
than 80,000 are exported, and these go almost 
exclusively to Silesia, Poland, and Russia. Vienna 
consumes also a considerable quantity of Hunga- 
rian wine. It was long questioned whether these 
wines would bear transporting across the sea, but 
Count Sze*chenyi tried the experiment by sending a 
cask to the East Indies, and when it came back, it 
was found perfectly sound at the end of the voyage. 
The addition of a little brandy might be required 
by some of the lighter sorts; but with that and 
with more care in the preparation of the wine and 
the cleaning of the casks, I have no doubt they 
would be perfectly safe. 

Wool is at present one of the chief articles of 
Hungarian commerce, chiefly because its exporta- 
tion is un taxed. It is scarcely twenty years since 
the Merino sheep have been introduced into Hun- 
gary, and the quantity of fine wool now produced 
may be judged from the fact, that at the last Pest fair 
there were no less than 80,000 centners offered for 
sale. The greater part of this wool is bought by the 
German merchants, and much of it is said to go 
ultimately to England, after having passed by land 
quite across Europe to Hamburg. Of late years, a 
few English merchants have made their appearance 
at the Pest fairs, which are held four times in the 
year ; but I have not yet heard of any wool being 
sent to England by the Danube and Black Sea. 
Besides the Merino wool, there is a considerable 

CORN. 535 

quantity of a long coarse wool grown, which is 
chiefly sold for the manufacture of the thick white 
cloth worn by the peasants, and which might be 
found very serviceable for our carpet fabrics. 

A still more important article of Hungarian 
produce is corn, and it is one from which, it is 
to be hoped, England ere long, by the abolition 
of her corn laws, will enable herself to derive the 
full benefit. At present, the quantity of grain 
annually produced in Hungary is reckoned at 
from sixty to eighty millions of Presburg metzen. 
This calculation, however, is of little importance, 
as at present scarcely any is grown for export- 
ation ; but, were a market once opened, it is be- 
yond a doubt that the produce might be doubled 
or trebled without any difficulty. I have heard 
it stated by one well able to judge, that at the 
present time one quarter of the whole country 
is uncultivated, although the greater part of it 
is capable of furnishing the richest crops at a 
very slight cost. The wheat of Hungary is al- 
lowed to be of an excellent quality. Where the 
land has little or no value for other purposes, 
and the labour costs nothing, it is difficult to 
see how it can be produced anywhere at a cheaper 
rate than here.* Nor do I think an increased 
demand would materially raise the price to the 

* In an article in a late number of the British and Foreign 
Quarterly, it is stated that Hungarian wheat from Fiume can 
be brought to England at a lower rate than from any other 

536 CORN. 

foreign consumer ; as improvements in the art 
of cultivation, greater industry on the part of the 

country. I quote the statement as it stands, without being able 

however to vouch for its accuracy : 

" The price of Hungarian wheat fit for shipment ) fl. kr. s. d. 

to England is at present, per metzen, at Sissek . j 2 45 or 5 6 

N.B. At other times it is 30 or 40 per cent, less.) 
Expense of transport from Sissek to Karlstadt by ) Q ] Q or Q 4 

the river Kulpa J 

Expense of transport from Karlstadt to Fiume by 1 o 50 or 1 8 

land j 

3 45 or 7 6 

" Hence we find, that the price of Hungarian corn at Fiume is 
3 florins, 45 kreutzers, or 7s. Qd. sterling per metzen. Now, 
2 metzen are considered equal to 3 stajo or staro, Venetian or 
Trieste measure j hence we find that the cost of Hungarian corn 
per stajo is 5 florins, or 10s. ; the rate of freight from Fiume to 
Trieste by sea is 7 kreutzers, or 2%d. ; the whole cost, therefore, at 
Trieste, is 5 florins, 7 kreutzers, or 10s. 2%d. : 348 stajo, however, 
are considered equal to 100 imperial quarters, according to which 
estimation the price of corn at Trieste, per imperial quarter, is 
35s. 7J -fgd. 

" To this calculation must be added, 
For the several commissions at Sissek, Karlstadt, and 

Fiume 5 per cent. 

For waste, deterioration, uninsured risk, insurance 3 per cent. 
Rate of insurance from Trieste to England . . 1| per cent. 
Export duty from the Austrian dominions, or Hun- 
gary, to the district of a free port, or to a foreign 

country 9^ per cent. 

Amount of commission del credere . . . 3 per cent. 
Charges and expenses on shipping . . .2 per cent. 
The uninsured risk, heating, short weight, deteriora- 
tion on the voyage from Trieste to England . 1 per cent. 
The whole per centage, as above detailed, is equal 

to 24 per cent. 

CORN. 537 

cultivators, and increased facilities in the means 
of communication, would be sufficient to raise the 
profits of the grower without increasing the cost 
to the consumer. 

No corn-growing country has such means of com- 
munication prepared by nature as Hungary, and 
it requires only a demand for her productions to 
bring them into full use. The richest parts of the 
country are the Banat, the plains on either side 
the Theiss, the country north of the Maros, and 
the districts about the Save and Drave. Now every 

Now 24| per cent, upon 35s. 7d. is 8s. 8|^d ; leaving out the 
fraction, the price of Hungarian corn per quarter is 44s. 3d. : add 
8s., which is about the average freight to England, the cost of 
Hungarian corn to the English merchant is 52s. 3d. 

" It must be remembered, however, that the price of the corn at 
Sissek (the principal depot for corn collected from the country, or 
brought by the Save from New Becse, where considerable pur- 
chases are made), upon which we have based our calculation, was 
taken at the present high average, though it is sometimes 40 per 
cent, lower. If, then, we had adopted the lowest instead of the 
highest rate for the stajo at Sissek, the final result would have 
been more than 3s. lower ; let us now adopt a mean average 
between 49s. and 52s. 3d., it will give 50s. 1\d. The following, 
then, is the result of the previous calculations : the price in Eng- 
land of corn imported, 

s. d. 

from France is 52 3 

America .... 50 

Odessa 52 

Hamburgh ... 54 4 

Dantzic 52 6 

Lower Baltic . . 51 5 

Hungary 50 7" 


one of these rivers is navigable, so that it is im- 
possible to conceive a country placed under more 
favourable circumstances than Hungary. 

The causes which have hitherto prevented a 
country so rich in productions, and possessing these 
advantages, from reaping the rich fruits of foreign 
commerce, must next be considered. 

One of the most important of these we believe 
to be, the restrictive laws arbitrarily imposed on 
Hungary by Austria. Hungary has the right to 
tax herself, but from time immemorial the king 
has enjoyed the privilege of imposing a duty called, 
from its amount, Vigesima Regalis (the King's 
twentieth), or five per cent, on articles imported 
into, and exported from Hungary. Soon after the 
accession of the house of Hapsburg, however, at- 
tempts were made to change this into a system 
of indirect taxation ; attempts which, despite the 
complaints of the nation, have been persevered in 
ever since. But the most tremendous blow to com- 
merce was given by Joseph, who entertained the 
idea of forcing the country to manufacture for it- 
self, by the imposition of a duty of sixty per cent, 
on all foreign articles. Even then none but a noble 
was allowed to import, and he only on the under- 
standing that the articles imported were for his 
own use. Of course, this regulation was evaded 
either by the merchant's purchasing nobility, or 
by some noble lending his name to a merchant 
for the same purpose. 


Although the same amount of duty was not 
levied on all articles exported, yet as exchange is 
absolutely necessary for the prosperity of com- 
merce, its effects were equally disadvantageous as 
regards exports. On some articles, however, the 
export duty was much higher than sixty per cent. ; 
and the Hungarians soon perceived that if, not- 
withstanding these obstacles, a market was, from 
some peculiar profit to be derived from it, found 
for their produce, the Government was sure to 
step in, and to impose so heavy a burthen as to 
destroy it in a very short time. The constant 
changes, too, which were made in the tariff, ren- 
dered trade so uncertain, that no one could be 
induced to cultivate, or speculate, where an arbi- 
trary act of an irresponsible minister might at once 
change the whole circumstances on which his 
calculations must be founded. The end of all this 
has been two national bankruptcies, the destruction 
of all commerce from without, and of all energy 
and enterprise within, an empty exchequer, and a 
people almost in a state of barbarism. 

At last Austria appears to Lave opened her 
eyes to some of her errors. Thanks to Mr. Mac- 
gregor's plain straightforward exposition of the 
frauds and losses to which her present system 
exposes her, she has at last consented to revise 
her tariff, and to change it where possible. Un- 
happily, however, that is no such easy task. She 
is surrounded by swarms of leeches in the shape 


of contractors, collectors, and rogues of every kind 
and class, who have long lived on the corruptions 
of the system, and who now cling to it so firmly, 
that it is a life-struggle to shake them from their 
hold. Manufactures, too, have been encouraged 
under this false system, and now claim protec- 
tion and support from those who have hitherto 
fostered them.* Still a change has been begun. 
Every man can now import and export for the 
purposes of trade, be he of what class he may. 
Absolute prohibition can scarcely any longer be 
said to exist, and the duties on upwards of a 
hundred articles of commerce have been materially 

Still all this has reference to Austria in general, 
not to Hungary in particular, and there are many 
circumstances peculiar to the latter country which 
demand separate legislation. The export duties 
on Hungarian produce, even into Austria, remain 
as before. But even these obstructions, serious 
as they are, and deeply as it behoves Hungary to 
struggle for their removal, are still light compared 
with others, dependent on the Hungarians them- 
selves. I allude to the peculiar state of the Hun- 
garian laws affecting credit. Without entering 

* I have heard, however, that some of the manufacturers of 
Vienna were exceedingly ready to aid Mr. Macgregor in opening 
trade, declaring that they could compete better with the fair 
trader on a moderate duty, than with the smuggler on none 
at all. 


into these, many of which have been alluded to 
before at some length, I shall only here enumerate 
one or two of the more important. 

The law by which the absolute alienation of 
property is rendered impracticable, while at the 
same time it is allowed to load it with debt, is 
one of the most injurious. In consequence of this 
law it becomes impossible to give good security, 
and the price of money is therefore exorbitant. 
The enforcement of a contract against a noble, too, 
is rendered so difficult and tedious that strangers 
are unwilling to deal with them. 

All the laws interfering with the free purchase 
and sale of the produce of the land, as the excise 
of bread and meat, the seigneurial monopoly of 
selling wine, and others, tend materially to impede 
commerce. The privilege of the nobles, of exemp- 
tion from taxation, interferes with the expendi- 
ture of large sums on public works, as roads and 
bridges, and thus renders communication, the first 
requisite for commerce, difficult and expensive. If 
to these be added the want of good faith in their 
dealings, on the part of many of the Hungarians, 
and the want of commercial habits in the mass of 
the people, we have the chief causes assigned by 
the English merchants of Trieste, for not dealing 
more extensively with Hungary. There is another 
reason, however, which these gentlemen did not 
mention, but which was no less manifest from 
their conversation, namely, their own ignorance of 


Hungary, and the exaggerated notions they have 
been led to form of the difficulties attending com- 
munication with it. 

The question remains, how can these impedi- 
ments be removed ? 

As the Austrian Government sees more clearly 
the importance of strengthening the Danubian pro- 
vinces, as she becomes more perfectly convinced 
of the immense losses her revenue sustains by the 
present prohibitory system, and by the armies of 
custom-house officers and smugglers, both of which 
she in fact maintains, as the German union begins 
to press more heavily on her towards the west, 
and renders the importance of a free communica- 
tion on the east more palpable, as the necessary 
progress of events shows her that it is only by 
establishing commercial relations between Hun- 
gary and the rest of Europe that the Danube can 
remain an open river, there can be little doubt 
that Austria, though slowly and reluctantly, will 
apply herself to reform her system, and to foster 
all which can tend to the developement of the 
resources, and which can strengthen the position 
of Hungary. 

With respect to the difficulties in the way of 
commerce arising out of the state of the laws 
of Hungary, the removal of these must depend 
on the honest and enlightened exertions of the 
Hungarians themselves. The writings of Count 
Szechenyi and others have already had a great 


influence in dissipating the prejudices which for- 
merly opposed reform, and a little more inter- 
course with the rest of Europe, especially if that 
intercourse were commercial, would very soon do 
the rest. 

The ignorance of English merchants on the 
subject of Hungary is by no means a trifling im- 
pediment to their engaging in commerce with that 
country. The productions of Hungary are almost 
unknown, except in Austria and some parts of 
Germany ; travelling in the country is difficult, 
and believed to be even more so than it is. The 
German language is as yet but little known among 
our merchants; and the reports which they hear 
from the Germans, who are anxious to keep the 
trade in their own hands, are so discouraging, that 
few have the courage to make a personal ex- 
amination of their truth. 

With the existing laws of Hungary, it is not 
safe, it is true, for the foreign merchant to go 
into the market with the same confidence he 
would in other countries. He can neither enforce 
the fulfilment of a contract, nor recover a debt 
without great difficulty and expense. It is neces- 
sary, therefore, that he should know something 
of the parties with whom he deals, in order 
that his confidence in their faith arid honour may 
supply the place of commercial laws. For, much 
as I like the Hungarians, I am bound to confess, 
that the strict integrity demanded in mercantile 


transactions, is not to be found in the body of 
the nation, men of honour there are, and many 
of them, but I here speak of the mass. There is 
no certainty that the foreign merchant, if he orders 
a certain quantity of wine, or wheat, or hemp, 
from the Hungarian grower, of the same quality 
as the sample furnished, should not receive a 
sour wine, a damaged wheat, or a hemp weighed 
with rubbish. Such things have occurred, and 
might occur again; but they have happened in 
other countries, too, in the infancy of their com- 
mercial relations, especially where the buyer did 
not take the trouble of acquainting himself with 
the character of the sellers. As others, however, 
have found a remedy for this, I do not see why 
we could not do so too. 

To effect this object, it is necessary that the 
merchants should have agents in Hungary who 
would make themselves well acquainted with it, 
and that the Government should appoint a consul, 
who could aid and foster their efforts, as well 
as afford them the protection of his presence. 
That such an appointment would be justified 
at the present moment is, I think, undeniable. 
We have already seen what the productions of 
Hungary are, and in many cases how advan- 
tageously they might be substituted for those of 
Russia in our market. How materially this change 
would weaken the power of England's most dan- 
gerous enemy, and strengthen one of England's 


oldest and firmest allies, is self-evident; and its 
political importance is therefore clear ; nor is 
its commercial less so. Hungary manufactures 
scarcely anything; and in her present position, 
as a country deficient in population and rich 
in soil, it would not be wise to attempt it, or 
indeed possible to accomplish it. The manu- 
factures of Hungary at present are confined to 
coarse cloths, linens, leather, and the commonest 
articles of household use. Yet in Hungary there 
is not only great luxury in dress and personal 
ornament, but a growing taste for the comforts 
of convenient and elegant furniture; nor is the 
consumption of such articles confined to a few. 
It is true the peasant has little money to ex- 
change for such matters ; but that is only because 
there are no merchants to buy his wine and 
corn ; while amongst the class of country gentle- 
men, and amongst the richer citizens, the demand 
is very considerable. The taste is decidedly in 
favour of everything English, so much so, indeed, 
that the Vienna manufacturers have English labels 
printed in England to affix to their own goods, 
and so deceive the purchasers. The articles from 
England for which there would be the most im- 
mediate sale, it is difficult to enumerate ; but all 
articles of cutlery, everything in iron or brass, as 
implements of husbandry, carriage-springs, locks, 
parts of furniture, &c., fine linen and cotton goods, 
woollen stuffs and cloths, carpeting, saddlery, 



stationery, china, and fine earthenware, may be 
safely set down. 

That the present moment is a favourable one 
for opening commercial relations with Hungary is 
shown, not only from the recent disposition of 
Austria to strengthen her alliance with England, 
but by the strong wishes expressed on the sub- 
ject by the Hungarians themselves, and which, if 
properly responded to on our part, might induce 
them to hasten the removal of those obstruc- 
tions which at present stand so much in the way. 
When the news of Mr. Macgregor's treaty was 
communicated in Hungary, the county meetings 
sent addresses of thanks to Prince Metternich for 
the unexpected boon ; and during the present 
Diet it has been actually proposed to send a com- 
mercial agent to England, and to request that 
an English agent may be sent to Pest to arrange 
commercial intercourse between the two nations. 
Our Government ought to respond to this call 
with the greatest alacrity. A consul-general 
established at Pest, with power to correspond with 
the consuls along the whole line of the Danube, 
and to establish such arrangements as are re- 
quired for securing free intercourse between the 
different parts of that river, would be of immense 
use both to England and Hungary; and should 
an English minister neglect to take up the matter 
as where the subject is unconnected with party, 
it is more than probable he will it becomes the 



duty of the English merchants to insist on it- 
Would that my appeal might reach them ! A 
little exertion on their part might secure to Eng- 
land not only a good customer, but, what is more 
important, a true and faithful ally. 


N N2 



THE most important events which have occurred 
in Hungary since the period of our travels are the 
inundation of the Danube, and partial destruction of 
Pest ; the condemnation of Baron WesseUnyi, and 
the assembling of the present Diet. 

The inundation took place on the 13th, 14th, and 
15th of March 1838, and exceeded by many feet 
any within the memory of man, or recorded in 
history. No less than 2281 houses in Pest and 
Buda were destroyed, and several hundred lives 
lost. In the lower streets the water was seven and 
eight feet deep. The loss of lives would have been 
still greater had not a number of gentlemen, 
among whom Baron Wessel&iyi distinguished him- 
self as the most successful, gone to every part of 
the town in boats, and by that means rescued many 
hundreds from destruction. 

Large subscriptions were raised in Hungary and 
Germany, but particularly in Vienna, in aid of the 
chief sufferers ; and Government advanced a loan 
of four million florins, at two per cent., to be 
employed in rebuilding the capital. 

With respect to Baron Wessel^nyi's condemna- 


tion, I can only give such information as the public 
prints have already made known; for it would be 
absurd to attempt to correspond on political sub- 
jects through the Austrian post. The offence of 
Baron Wessel^nyi, of which we have spoken in the 
commencement of our travels, was committed in 
the spring of 1835. Sentence was not pronounced 
till 1839 ! Report says that even then his judges 
had determined to acquit, when a very influential 
person employed himself in communicating to them 
the certain displeasure of Government should such 
be the issue of the affair. Without vouching that 
such is the fact, it is certain that an impression has 
gone abroad that the judges have neither decided 
legally nor honestly ; and it must be allowed their 
verdict bears very much the appearance of a com- 
promise between conscience and interest. They find 
him guilty of mitigated high treason ! Nor are the 
reasons which they have assigned in their verdict 
likely to remove this impression. They condemn 
him for saying,* "That the Government sucks out 
the marrow of nine millions of men (the peasantry) ; 
that it will not allow us nobles to better their 
condition by legislative means ; but, retaining them 
in their present state, it only waits its own time to 
exasperate them against us, then it will come 
forward to rescue us. But, woe to us ! from free- 
men we shall be degraded to the state of slaves :" 
and the wicked animus with which all this has 

* I copy from the Morning Chronicle of March 30, 1839. 

N N 3 


been said is considered especially proved from an 
expression of Wessehmyi's in a private note, " That 
all his life had been passed in pounding pepper 
under the German's nose." 

The Austrian Government has had the good 
sense to show itself less disposed to cruelty than its 
judges perhaps, too, the execrations of all civilized 
Europe against the gaolers of Pellico, Confalioneri, 
and Andrynane, have not been without their effect, 
and in consideration of Baron Wessel^nyi's state 
of health, it has allowed him every alleviation of 
which the prison is capable. Baron Wessele"nyi has 
been permitted even to leave Pest for six months in 
company of an officer, only to place himself under 
the care of a celebrated physician, whose advice was 
considered necessary for him. The good-hearted 
Arch-duke Palatine is said to have used his influ- 
ence to accomplish this end. 

The Diet was again called together this summer ; 
and after the reception of the Royal Propositions, 
recommending the Diet to complete the Hungarian 
regiments by a new levy of troops, it soon became 
evident that there were several grievances to be 
dealt with before that was likely to be agreed to. 
One of the first difficulties, was the refusal of 
Government to admit Count Raday, who had been 
elected deputy for the county of Pest, to take his 
seat; because, in a county meeting, he had spoken 
strongly against the conduct of the judges in the 
case of Baron Wessel^nyi, and a prosecution had 


been commenced against him in consequence. A 
new writ was accordingly issued, but the county 
refused to elect under it, and petitioned the Cham- 
ber to desist from all further proceedings till their 
deputy was admitted. As the judges are members 
of the Lower Chamber, or rather have seats in it, 
and do not deliver judgment as long as the Dietal 
session lasts, of course this cause could not be 
decided till after the close of the Diet ; if therefore 
the principle were once admitted, that any man 
against whom the Government chose to commence 
a prosecution previous to the meeting of the Diet, 
should, on that account be excluded, the freedom 
of election was at an end, the Government might 
exclude whom it pleased. 

The Diet has taken up the matter most warmly ; 
but I cannot do better than quote a passage from 
an excellent letter, dated Presburg, July 25th, of 
The Times. 

" The present Chamber of Representatives, at 
the opening of this Diet, unanimously determined 
to act in even a more decided resistance to late 
occurrences than was proposed by the electors of 
Pest ; and their attention having been directed 
to a necessary grant of soldiers, contained in the 
speech from the Crown, refused, in a message to 
the Upper Chamber, to consider the proposition, 
unless the original judgments against both Wes- 
se!6nyi and Raday were reversed ; at the same time 
praying that Chamber to join with them in a 


message to the throne. The result was a series of 
very bold speeches from a coinciding party in the 
magnates. For three weeks the greatest excite- 
ment prevailed in both Chambers, in which time 
the question was negatived in the Upper by a 
small majority; and at length the Palatine, upon 
a formal complaint from the judges (who, being ex 
officio members of the Lower House, heard their 


characters very roughly handled), prorogued the 
Chambers at the pleasure of the king. After eight 
days the Diet was again convoked, and a message 
read from the Crown, complaining of the resistance 
offered by a party in the Chambers, and hoping 
that such resistance would no longer be continued ; 
but no terms of compromise were offered by the 
Government, and the Chambers have assumed the 
same position as before the same warfare between 
the Government and the demanding party, and on 
either side an apparently equal disinclination to give 
way. It is difficult to pronounce upon the probable 
upshot of these proceedings. The ten years' service 
of the last grant of military is expiring, and the 
necessity, on the part of Government, for the 
assistance of the Chambers consequently urgent ; 
but the Government cannot yield without offering 
a compromise of their own acts and policy, and 
the Lower Chamber considers that upon their 
present determination depends the future integrity 
of the nation." 

Still later reports bring word, that Count Raday 


lias himself resigned, rather than keep up any 
longer a state of ill-will between the Diet and 
Government. How far he may have been right 
in his determination it is difficult to say, with 
the slight knowledge we have of the merits of the 
case ; but it would appear a dangerous precedent 
to allow the Government to commence a prosecu- 
tion against any one it chooses, and by these means 
condemn an obnoxious individual to a political 
death while yet innocent of any crime in the eye 
of law : at least, it is totally opposed to everything 
which we are taught to consider common justice 
or political right. 



Printed by S. & J. BENTLEY and HENRY FI.EY, 
Bangor House, Shoe Lane. 




Paget, John 

Hungary and Transylvand